Agenda and minutes

Transport, Economy, Environment and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 26th July, 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Northallerton, DL7 8AD

Contact: Edward Maxwell, Democratic Services Officer  Email:

Note: Please note this meeting will now be held in the Council Chamber at County Hall 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillor John Cattanach.


Declarations of Interest

All Members are invited to declare at this point any interests they have in items appearing on this agenda, including the nature of those interests.


There were no declarations of interest to note.


Public Participation

Members of the public may ask questions or make statements at this meeting if they have given notice (to include the text of the question/statement) to Edward Maxwell, Democratic Services Officer (contact details below) no later than midday on Friday 21 July. Each speaker should limit themselves to 3 minutes on any item.  Members of the public who have given notice will be invited to speak:-


·       At this point in the meeting if their questions/statements relate to matters which are not otherwise on the Agenda (subject to an overall time limit of 30 minutes);


·       When the relevant Agenda item is being considered if they wish to speak on a matter which is on the Agenda for this meeting.


If you are exercising your right to speak at this meeting, but do not wish to be recorded, please inform the Chair who will instruct those taking a recording to cease while you speak.



Andy Jefferson registered to speak regarding Item 5 – Call In of the Executive Decision – Review of 20mph Speed Limit and Zone Policy.  The following points were raised in his statement:


·         The majority of road collisions involving children took place in residential areas, not near schools as claimed in the policy.  The policy also failed to adequately consider the impact on elderly residents.


·         The Council’s own climate targets required a large uptake in active travel, but cycling was much less popular on 30mph roads than 20mph.  Implementing a default 20mph policy would make cycling easier without needing large investment to link existing cycle-friendly sections.


·         The report failed to consider the long-term benefits on the health service from increased active travel, and the short-term benefits from reduced injury rates.


Allan McVeigh thanked Andy Jefferson for his question, and provided a response which included the following points:


·         The report made no changes to the existing 20mph Speed Limit and Zone Policy.


·         The policy and report were considered in accordance with the Equalities Impact Assessment which considered the impact on all road users, and where a need for supporting measures were identified, these would be installed.


·         The policy’s general principle was to consult with local groups and introduced tailored schemes, rather than adopting a blanket approach which would be inefficient and wasteful.


Pam Fawcett registered to speak regarding Item 5 – Call In of the Executive Decision – Review of 20mph Speed Limit and Zone Policy.  Being unable to attend, her statement was read by Ian Conlan on her behalf.  The following points were raised in her statement:


·         As a resident of Bellerby for many years, Ms Fawcett noted that the volume and speed of traffic had increased substantially over time and highlighted several recent traffic incidents near her house.


·         The impact on pedestrians who felt unsafe crossing the road had led to an increased sense of isolation among residents, particularly the elderly and on schoolchildren.


·         Ms Fawcett wished to know why NYC did not adequately consider the safety of local residents, and what steps would be taken to address the issues.


Allan McVeigh thanked Pam Fawcett for her question, and provided a response which included the following points:


·         The reasons for not reducing the speed limit to 20mph on the A6108 through Bellerby had been explained to the Parish Council and accepted.


·         As an alternative to introducing a 20mph on the A6108, an alternative scheme to implement it on other roads around community spaces in the village had been agreed with the Parish Council.


Roy Heap registered to speak regarding Item 5 – Call In of the Executive Decision – Review of 20mph Speed Limit and Zone Policy.  Being unable to attend, his statement was read by Edward Maxwell (Democratic Services Officer) on his behalf.  The following points were raised in his statement:


·         Mr Heap claimed that NYC was too reliant on statistical data in selecting where to implement 20mph schemes and was too reactive in waiting for serious incidents to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Chair's Introduction pdf icon PDF 349 KB


The Chair welcomed members to the meeting and explained why it had been arranged. 


On 7 July 2023, Cllr Andy Brown and at least six members of the Transport, Economy, Environment, and Enterprise Scrutiny Committee submitted written notice that they wished for the 4 July 2023 decision of the Executive to be called in.  This decision was to reject default area-wide 20mph zones in North Yorkshire, and that a series of planned review and a speed management strategy be implemented to deliver local traffic management schemes. 


The members were required to determine whether the decision should be referred back to the Executive for review, referred to Full Council, or whether no further action should be taken.  The Chair reminded members that the purpose of the meeting was not to discuss the proposed speed management strategy itself, but to review the way the decision had been taken and whether all appropriate evidence had been considered.


Resolved:  That the report be noted.


Call in of the Executive decision - Review of 20mph Speed Limit and Zone Policy pdf icon PDF 489 KB

Additional documents:


Considered:  A report of the Assistant Chief Executive, Legal and Democratic Services, seeking a decision on whether to refer the Executive decision of 4 July 2023 back to the Executive; to refer it to Full Council; or to take no further action.


The Chair invited Cllr Andy Brown, as signatory of the Call-In notice, to summarise their arguments.  Cllr Brown thanked members for attending the meeting, and delivered a presentation, the main points of which were:


·         The signatories were concerned about the impact of excessive speed in residential areas, citing recent examples of fatalities and serious injuries in their divisions.


·         It was felt that insufficient weight had been given to the evidence regarding the effectiveness of such speed management schemes (SMSs), and that widespread non-compliance had been assumed without adequate evidence.


·         Examples of successful default 20mph schemes in Cornwall and Edinburgh were cited.


·         Signatories felt that insufficient weight had been given to the ameliorating effect such schemes would have on pressures in local A&E departments, to the climate change benefits, and the positive health effects from improvements in air quality.


·         The consultation was felt to be inadequate, with members reporting some areas which believed their views had not been considered.  Examples were cited of Parish and Town Councils which had found it difficult to engage with the Highways Agency.


·         Cllr Brown suggested an alternative option, where a coalition of the willing be set up to deliver schemes quickly where local support was strong, scoping and costing applications promptly rather than a lengthy pipeline approach, dealing with each application in turn.


The Chair invited Allan McVeigh to respond.  The main points of the response were as follows:


·         The positive benefits of SMSs were not in dispute, and the scheme approved by the Executive explicitly recognised the health, climate change and safety benefits highlighted by the signatories. 


·         The default application of 20mph zones was seen as potentially damaging, introducing them to communities which did not want them, or were which not suitable. 


·         It was emphasised that the proposed SMS would lead to more 20mph zones in the county, not fewer.


·         Evidence was cited which suggested signed-only schemes, without physical measures, only resulted in a very modest speed reduction of 1-2mph.


·         The consultation was highlighted, which had sought the views of all 90 members.  Examples were cited of areas which had requested a 20mph zone and which had been accepted, showing that where appropriate these would be introduced.


The Chair invited the Executive Member for Highways and Transportation to respond, and the points raised are summarised below:


·         The Executive had worked closely with officers to develop a robust and evidence-based approach that would be suitable for local communities across the counties.


·         The alternative scheme proposed by the signatories, which sought implementation of SMSs where local support existed, was in fact close to the approach set out in the policy, working proactively with communities and responding where a clear need for 20mph schemes existed.  The issues extended beyond a simple default 20mph  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Any other items

Any other items which the Chair agrees should be considered as a matter of urgency because of special circumstances.


The Chair informed members that the Rail Delivery Group consultation on ticket office closures had been extended to 1 September 2023, which would allow for additional member input to a collective NYC response.  Members indicated that there was general support for an additional meeting, if required, to seek input for the consultation response before it closed.