22 February 2023




The Transport, Economy and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee has a remit that includes the following:


·         Transport and communications infrastructure of all kinds, however owned or provided, and how the transport needs of the community are met

·         Supporting business, helping people develop their skills, including lifelong learning

·         Sustainable development, climate change strategy, countryside management, waste management, environmental conservation and enhancement flooding and cultural issues.


The Committee last met on 19 January 2023 in the Brierley Room at County Hall. One public question was received seeking an update on plans to repair and reinstate Jackson’s Lane in Scarborough as a two way carriageway, or to look at other options for accessing Oliver’s Mount to alleviate local traffic issues to support a long standing cultural and sporting event.


The officer response noted it was a complex issue but recognised the importance of the road to access Oliver’s Mount and provided an update on plans for a potential geotechnical solution to ensure the long-term stability of the road and the surrounding area. With broad support for the event from members, a commitment was made to continue to liaise with interested parties and I asked that the committee be kept updated on progress with this issue.


Following this, members received detailed reports on: York and North Yorkshire LEP Delivery Plan Review; North Yorkshire Road Casualties statistics for 2020 and 2021 and the 20mph Speed Limit and Zone Policy Update. A report on the maintenance and improvement activity by National Highways was deferred to a future date. Outlined below are further details in relation to these reports considered by the committee.


York and North Yorkshire LEP Delivery Plan Review

James Farrer, Chief Operating Officer of the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Y&NYLEP) attended to report on progress made against their Delivery Plan in 2022-23.  The five pillars and series of deliverables were broken down and delivery against these set out in the report, along with areas for improvement. In a wide ranging member discussion that followed, accessing external funding opportunities was highlighted as a priority for the LEP, as well as trying to engage more with businesses coming out of the pandemic and how to measure this through qualitative and quantitative data. The Y&NYLEP work on climate change and the implementation of the Routemap to Carbon Negative was also discussed, as well as looking ahead to future plans to work with partners to set up potential cluster sites for research in future sectors. The relationship between Y&NYLEP and the new unitary council was also asked about, to avoid duplication of work in the future.


North Yorkshire Road Casualties statistics for 2020 and 2021

The Committee were updated on the injury collisions and casualties up to the end of calendar years 2020 and 2021, as well as provided with information on road safety education undertaken over these time periods, road safety engineering that has taken place and details of the speed management protocol for residents to raise concerns. As part of the discussion that followed the report introduction, members asked to see further details of the cluster site data, to show the locations of collisions to pinpoint areas of concern, as well as asking whether further information could be made available about the circumstances of collisions, in order to get a thorough picture of what has occurred. The relationship between the County Council and North Yorkshire Police in the Fatal Collision Procedure and Road Safety audits was also explored.


There was an appetite amongst committee members to receive a more comprehensive report on this topic in future alongside the annual statistics report on road casualties.


20mph Speed Limit and Zone Policy Update

The Committee received an update on the application of the revised 20mph speed limit and zone policy since its adoption in January 2022 and looking at the progress made in implementing the nine recommendations from the review carried out by the Transport, Economy and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Task Group. It was reported that 27 applications had been received since the revised policy came into force, with 10 of these being previous applications that were considered again against the revised criteria. Of these, three applications have been approved, for extending existing 20mph speed limits in Bradley and Cononley in Area 5 Craven and a new implementation located in Staxton in Area 4 Ryedale. Issues raised as part of the discussion with members included the role of North Yorkshire Council in designing out speed as part of planning applications for new housing or commercial developments, the continuing work of the 20’s Plenty Campaign group in engaging with Parish and Town Councils to support a default 20mph speed limit to replace all 30mph speed limits and a need for clarity on the role of North Yorkshire Police in its enforcement capacity in dealing with this issue.


The Committee decided to make two amendments, recommending to the Executive to consider implementing 20mph outside schools and areas of high footfall where appropriate and to support the resolutions passed at the Harrogate & Knaresborough and Selby & Ainsty ACCs in relation to introducing 20mph speed limit pilots in those areas where a need has been identified.


I would however like to clarify that these very specific recommendations on the two areas covered by the amendments did not constitute broader support for the 20’s Plenty campaign at this stage, as might be assumed from a recent press release by the campaign group on the 1st of February. Indeed, the debate among members displayed a diverse range of views, highlighting the inherent challenges of such a blanket policy, but also raising concerns relating to some of the claims made by the campaign group in their supporting evidence and an appetite for a wider evidence base and robust challenge of all assumptions.


Work Programme

Under the work programme item, topics raised for discussion at future meetings and mid-cycle briefings included rural broadband, tree planting and the role of Transport for the North.


The next meeting of the committee will be at 10am on Wednesday 12 April 2023, where we will be looking at:


·           North Yorkshire - Plan for Economic Growth update

·           Countywide Civil Parking Enforcement

·           Preventing Flooding on highways – Gully Clearance and Maintenance




8 February 2023