11 May 2024

Has the scandal behind Khan's 20mph speed limits happened here too?

In our personal lives and our professional lives most of us believe in the importance of making informed decisions – decisions that take into account both the costs and benefits of any course of action.

  • When we make an investment on the stock market we way up the pros and cons.
  • If we are changing jobs we look at the advantages and disadvantages.
  • And if we're moving house we will carefully weigh-up the benefits the new property will bring (more space, less noise, closer to schools, etc) against any possible downsides (bigger mortgage repayments, noisy neighbours, etc).

Maybe when we are younger we are a bit more impulsive, but as we mature into adulthood we try our best to not make rash decisions and weight everything up carefully before jumping in.

According to an article in last week's Daily Telegraph it seems the same cannot be said of Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London. Might the same be true closer to home? We shall come onto that in a moment.

The article in The Daily Telegraph was titled:

"The real scandal behind Sadiq's 20mph speed limits"

It raises a very serious and worrying concern.

The article reveals that eight of the 11 boroughs to introduce blanket 20mph limits in London admitted to not performing a formal cost-benefit analysis. Basically, it seems these eleven London boroughs just winged it, which is absolutely shocking and beggars believe.

Instead of doing a thorough study of the cost implications, the safety implications, the health implications, the impact on polution, the economic impact on the area ... nothing. Zilch.

They just went ahead and did it without having a clue what the long term pros and cons were.

If these were plans that had little impact on the boroughs and the people who live in them then maybe this tardiness could be excused, but to spend millions implementing these schemes without knowing if there is any benefit at all seems negligent.

London is two hundred miles away, so these things don't impact us you might say, but might Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Ilkley Town Council have done the same thing. 

I am pleased to say that thanks to a local resident we have more than just an insight into this.

In an email correspondence dated 22nd February 2024, Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder, Bradford Council, responded to this resident's query on the subject.

Ross-Shaw stated that:

"a detailed cost/benefit analysis report has not been produced for this scheme and would not be expected to for schemes of this size."

But isn't it the cumulative impact of "schemes of this size" that shapes the daily life in our town? Doesn't every decision, small or large, contribute to the overall quality of life in Ilkley?

The Council's response raises important questions. Are we, as a community, comfortable with changes that lack a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis? Shouldn't every proposed scheme, regardless of its size, be subjected to a thorough review of its potential impact?

It isn't just a case of traffic moving a bit slower is it? What about the long-term effects on traffic flow, congestion, increased pollution, increased noise levels, and the quality of life in in general?

At Fairness for Ilkley, we believe in a thoughtful examination of all factors before implementing changes. It just seems to be the kind of professional approach you'd expect from a council and from the people they employ. Sadly, it seems that this is no longer the case, maybe it never has been.
The 20mph Scheme debate is far from over, and we'll continue to advocate for transparency, fairness, and comprehensive analysis in all decisions affecting our town. It's not about pointing fingers; it's about ensuring that every change contributes to making Ilkley the lovely town that it is.
We welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue. After all, it is the collective voice of Ilkley's residents that truly matters.

Stay tuned as we delve deeper into this issue in our upcoming posts, where we'll estimate the 'full economic costs' of the scheme. Together, let's ensure a fair deal for Ilkley.



Daily Telegraph - The real scandal behind Sadiq’s 20mph speed limits

Daily Telegraph - How Sadiq Khan's advisers savaged his Ulez expansion (but were overruled)