I’ve received a number of queries from local residents, as to why, when all the speed limit changes have been taking place in the area, Holt Lane from its junction with Holt Road to its junction with Cookridge Lane could not be reduced in speed. Set out below is the response I have received from the Highways Engineer. It is my intention to carry out a consultation exercise over the next few weeks to ascertain views. However, even if the proposal was supported by the residents I consult with it will still however be the subject of a formal consultation by the Council if they were to proceed with it:
“Dear Cllr Anderson,
When setting speed limits, a number of matters must be considered, including the present vehicular speeds as a priority. Generally, the mean speed noted on a length of road represents what drivers are comfortable undertaking the road as. The current mean speed seen on Holt Lane (between Holt Road and Otley Old Road) is 32.1mph. This mean speed is higher than the potential lower speed limit of 30mph, but very comfortably below the current 40mph speed limit.
When we have assessed this section of Holt Lane previously, the mean speeds noted were at a higher level than the 32.1mph seen in the most recent survey. This previously precluded the Council from considering a reduction in that speed limit, as could have been undertaken as part of the Holt Park 20mph scheme.
The Council believes that the speeds seen along this route could justifiably be reduced to a lower 30mph speed limit on the basis of creating a speed limit that is more in line with the speeds seen and the characteristics of the route which should preclude traffic from proceeding at a higher speed. A lower speed limit may also encourage higher pedestrian usage here, linking into the public footpath that links to Cookridge Hall and beyond.
At present, there is no funding allocated within the 2017/18 programme of works for a scheme in this location. It will be added to the ongoing wish list of schemes for implementation, where it will be ranked against other schemes of a similar nature for a portion of funding. There is no guarantee of funding being allocated in the near future, particularly as there is no benefit from an accident reduction perspective, thanks to there having been zero injury accidents in the last five years. Whilst we will continue to add this scheme to our wish list moving forward, it is not possible to guarantee a particular date.
An alternative consideration, would be to close Holt Lane at certain points using bollards or other similar methods and create a ‘greenway’ (see below for definition), which would also remove the concern regarding traffic levels and speeds along the lane.
It would be feasible to close Holt Lane from Holt Farm or Holt Park Road through to the access road to The Lodge, close to the Cookridge Lane junction. This would create a traffic-free length that could be utilised freely by local residents and would link well to the established public footpaths, as well as the footway links into the Holtdales. It is acknowledged that the lane is fairly well used, but we believe this level of traffic can be accommodated on the other routes drivers may choose to take. The benefits of such a proposal would outweigh the disadvantages and supports the Council’s child friendly and healthy lifestyle ambitions.
I would be obliged if you could consider the possibility of making this section Holt Lane a ‘greenway’ and if this is something you believe is a positive proposal, we can add this to a wish list moving forward. Alternatively, whilst in principal we agree with the reduction in speed limit along Holt Lane, this is not something we can seek to take forward at this point in time for the reasons provided.”
Benefits of Greenways
What is a greenway?
Greenways are corridors of land recognized for their ability to connect people and places together. These ribbons of open space are located within linear corridors that are either natural, such as rivers and streams, or manmade, such as abandoned railroad beds and utility corridors.
Greenways, as vegetated buffers protect natural habitats. Most greenways contain trails, which enhance existing recreational opportunities, provide routes for alternative transportation, and improve the overall quality of life in an area.
Who uses a greenway?
Greenway trails can be paved or unpaved, and can be designed to accommodate a variety of trail users, including bicyclists, walkers, hikers, joggers, skaters, horseback riders, and those confined to wheelchairs.
The Benefits of Greenways
Trails and greenways provide a variety of benefits that ultimately affect the sustainability of a region’s economic, environmental, and social health. These benefits include:
- Improving Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation
- Improving Health through Active Living
- Clear Skies, Clean Rivers, and Protected Wildlife
- Enhancing Cultural Awareness and Community Identity