RESIDENTS are still not fully aware of what 20mph measures are destined for the town and neighbouring Ben Rhydding after a meeting of Ilkley Town Council was held on Tuesday night.

The Clarke Foley Centre overflowed with dozens standing outside for the extraordinary meeting of the town council to discuss a 20mph speed limit within the town and neighbouring Ben Rhydding.

Prior to the meeting, Ilkley Conservative MP Robbie Moore had written to Ilkley town mayor, Cllr Karl Milner, asking the council to revisit the consultation process and look to implement a more targeted traffic calming scheme.

However Mr Moore’s request was not taken up and after a tied vote of 7-7, Cllr Milner’s casting vote saw the town council resolve to ‘support, in principle, the implementation of a 20mph speed limit throughout Ilkley and Ben Rhydding’.

The mayor also used his casting vote to carry a motion to ‘resolve to honour the S278 agreement in which the town council committed to providing funding (to Bradford Council) of up to £87,500 towards the scheme’.

Motions relating to speed bumps failed because of no proposer or a tied vote.

Following the meeting - adjourned because it ran out of time - Mr Moore said: “By railroading residents, forcing through these plans, and voting to spend £87,500 of taxpayers money to blanket our town with speed humps and a town-wide 20mph zone, Ilkley Town Council’s coalition of Labour, Lib Dem and Green Party councillors have completely ignored the people of Ilkley.

“Ninety-one percent of public consultation respondents strongly opposed these plans. This opposition was made clear to Labour, Lib Dem and Green councillors - including our Labour Ilkley Mayor Karl Milner and Bradford Council - time and time again, and yet they have refused to listen.

“I wrote to Ilkley’s Labour Mayor urging him to take on board the consultation results, but clearly he wasn’t interested - using his casting vote to rush these plans through. Only the Conservative councillors wanted to implement a more targeted speed reduction scheme, which I fully support.

“What happened at last night’s Ilkley Town Council meeting was therefore nothing short of a complete joke and a classic example of those in power not listening. What is the point of holding a public consultation if you do not plan to take on board its results? This decision will no doubt do long-lasting damage to any future public consultation both Ilkley Town Council and Bradford Council plan to hold.”

Prior to the debate, member of the public spoke for 30 minutes. Kath Steward, one of the trustees of Climate Action Ilkley said: “I think it is absolutely essential that we introduce 20mph. Climate Action Ilkley’s view is that it should be an Ilkley-wide 20mph. There has been some muttering about it being undemocratic and not transparent but the last council was working on it for four years. It’s not just about road safety and its not just about penalising car drivers, it’s about making the area safer for everyone.”

“It’s not just about accident reduction it’s about well-being and allowing people to choose to walk or cycle if they want to. What puts most people off cycling is their fears of cars and speed they drive at.”

The reaction of the majority of people at the meeting did not agree with her views. However, one young audience member, nine-year-old Ruby Nash who had written to the council asking to speak did agree saying: “I would really like a 20mph zone covering the whole of Ilkley; the main reason is safety. I do not feel safe cycling around Ilkley even though I am always with one of my parents. This is because of how quickly vehicles speed past and how little space some drivers leave when overtaking bikes. I have had some scary experiences in the past. Councillors please vote in favour of the town-wide 20mph speed limit ideally with a reduction of speed humps from the current plan.”

Among the residents were Andrew Cunliffe representing the non-political Ilkley Road Safety Action Group. The group held a public meeting just over a week ago where a vote showed overwhelming opposition to the current plans. He said the town council had lost the trust of residents and this meeting was a last opportunity to ‘take back control of the wheel and apply the brakes’ and said it was an opportunity to ‘reverse back from the precipice and begin to restore some faith’.

Mr Cunliffe said he felt the scheme as it stands was ‘unnecessary, without mandate and without any evidence to support it’.

Steve Singleton, of Ben Rhydding said there was much that could be done to increase road safety where there were current issues. He said he was almost killed at a ‘potential’ accident blackspot which had been known to the council for years - the off-set mini roundabout on Cowpasture Road and the junction of Wheatley Road.

“My experience was I looked twice before I crept out just before a black 4x4 going between 60 and 70 mph came right round the roundabout and charged up the hill. I reported that to the council.”

He added a similar incident occurred at just before 9pm on Sunday with another vehicle going at a similar speed. He reminded the council it was a 30mph limit there.

“No limit is going to work unless you have monitoring cameras. You can’t put them all over town so put them where they count.”

Cllr Andrew Loy, an Ilkley town councillor and also a Conservative councillor with Bradford Council had put forward several amendments which included a call for another public consultation on the plans and the funding agreement.

He said: “It was disappointing that half of the councillors voted down repeated requests for further public consultation and that the mayor used his casting vote to push through support for a scheme which has proved divisive. Conservative councillors called for residents to be involved in creating a new plan to ensure it has public support.”

Cllr Loy said for the next stage, it was up to Bradford Council. He added: “As a Bradford councillor I have requested an update from Highways as soon as they know the number of objections to the legal orders and hope to discuss any changes with them following that.”

Prior to the meeting ending, councillors resolved that the results of any consultation provided to the town council by Bradford Council should be published on the town council website.

Cllr Milner had reminded residents at the start of the meeting that the town council was not the deciding body on the traffic calming plans, but it was a statutory consultee.