Discussions to be held over the benefits of having more 20mph zones in the Wakefield district

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The benefits of having more 20mph zones in the district will be discussed by Wakefield Council watchdogs.

Members of the communities and safety overview and scrutiny committee will consider a report on 20mph zones on Wednesday, in preparation for future discussions on plans for more of them.

The department for transport encourages councils to consider introducing more zones, where there is a risk to vulnerable road users. A zone can span up to 25km of road, and they are more effective than speed limits according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), as they include speed humps and chicanes, rather than just speed restriction signs.

A report prepared for the meeting said they reduce accidents and encourage more walking or cycling because people feel safer.

It added: “In view of the council’s limited resources, new sites need to be prioritised to ensure maximum benefit.

Consideration should be given to areas that have regularly experienced problems and areas of social deprivation.”

The report said Wakefield had a low number of 20mph zones and limits, compared to the rest of West Yorkshire.

It also said the areas outside schools were regarded as the safest road areas because they have the lowest incidence of child accidents.

Critics say they reduce on-street parking and increase emergency response times. The findings from this week’s meeting will be presented to Wakefield Council’s cabinet committee in October.