A CONSULTATION over plans to introduce a lower speed limit in parts of Pool-in-Wharfedale is set to begin.

The village was one of a number of communities that Leeds City Council listed, in 2017, as being in line for a 20mph ‘zone’.

Most local 20mph schemes only apply to residential streets but there was hope that in Pool the lower speed could also be applied to sections of the busy A658 and A659.

The council’s Highways department has now ruled that out - but wants to move ahead with the rest of the project and has begun briefing local councillors ahead of a public consultation.

In a message to ward councillors it said: “We propose at this time to introduce a 20mph speed limit scheme as part of this year’s wider 20mph project, on all other (adopted) roads within the Pool-in-Wharfedale area but excluding Arthington Lane, Main Street, Pool Bank New Road and Pool Road.

“This scheme is a speed limit, as opposed to a zone, and so would only have the roundel signs not the larger 20mph zone signs.

“This proposal means we can deliver benefit to the majority of residents of Pool. We accept there is no current provision to undertake works on the A-classified routes at the current time.”

Councillor Barry Anderson (Con, Adel & Wharfedale), however, has some concerns. He said: “I am very pleased we are now being consulted on the introduction of 20mph zones in Pool.

“The council has stated that it is not possible to introduce a 20mph limit on Arthington Lane, Main Street, Pool Bank New Road and Pool Road as they are A-routes and guidance specifically states that these should not be reduced to 20mph.

“I am concerned that they have ignored the air quality problems on Main Street, and the problems with HGV speeds throughout the village. They have also ignored the safety of cyclists and pedestrians using the narrow main roads.”

Cllr Anderson has also questioned how the new lower speed limit will be enforced in the village.

Councillor Caroline Anderson, (Con., Adel & Wharfedale), meanwhile, is urging residents to have their say when the formal consultation starts.

She said: “We have 20mph zones in most streets across the ward now, however Pool remains to be consulted.

“Highways hope to start the formal consultation soon and we will let residents know when so they can have their say on the extent of the proposals.

“This has to follow a laid down legal process, which can take time, but I hope many residents will take the opportunity to submit their comments.”

She added: “Initial soundings suggest that residents have concerns about the expense of these schemes in relation to their effectiveness.”