May I debunk a few of the myths propagated by supporters of the 20mph and speed humps proposals? 

Environment: There is no environmental gain with a 20mph limit. Combustion-engined cars must run in a lower gear for 33% longer over a given distance = more emissions, not less. Fact.

Safety: There have been pilot schemes for blanket 20mph zones in various towns in Wales. Residents report increased road-rage, dangerous driving, tail-gating, drivers not paying attention at low speeds and cars being closer together, making it harder to cross the road. Hardly a safer situation.

Cyclists: Cycling groups are said to be against speed humps, which make their rides uncomfortable, but also on safety grounds. Cyclists, especially younger ones, will weave and wobble around the roads trying to avoid the speed humps, putting themselves in greater danger. Not good.

I have lived in Ben Rhydding and Ilkley for over 37 years and have regularly walked, cycled and driven along its roads, but I simply do not recognise the picture of Ilkley, painted by some correspondents, of speed-crazed motorists and a plethora of accidents. Bradford MDC’s own figures do not tally with such a vision. Average speeds are already around the 20mph mark (helped no doubt by the parking situation which sees most roads narrowed by parked cars) and the accident rate here is very low. Of course, you will occasionally get the odd idiot, but believe me, 20mph limits and speed humps will never, ever prevent that.

There is an anti-car lobby within Bradford MDC and sadly Ilkley TC too, whose aim is to discourage people from driving their own cars through their ‘territory’. This is a pathetic attempt at social engineering and must be rejected. Speed humps will disfigure our lovely town, making it unpleasant for residents and visitors to drive through. Somehow in Ilkley we have been lumbered with an unfortunate Loony Left alliance of Labour, Lib-Dems and Green/sundry, kept afloat by the Ilkley Town Mayor, Cllr. Karl Milner (Labour) via his casting vote. Three weeks ago, I wrote by e-mail to Cllr. Milner, expressing the reasons for my deep concerns about these proposals, but to date have not received the courtesy of a response. The Mayor has persistently used his casting vote along narrow party-political lines to keep these proposals alive, rather than support the broader interests, widely and consistently expressed, of the majority of Ilkley’s residents. Cllr. Milner should therefore consider his position and resign forthwith.

I would also recommend Ilkley town councillors to ask themselves the question, ‘How have we come to this dreadful position of angst, aggravation and division amongst our community, over proposals which are costly, of minimal gain yet considerable disadvantage to Ilkley.’ The answer should be – grow some back-bone, stand up for Ilkley and politely inform Bradford MDC to use their road safety budget for one of the 17 more deserving areas within their remit.

Philip Short