NORTH Yorkshire’s roads boss and Conservative mayoral candidate has dismissed the 20s Plenty campaign’s claims to have widespread public support to introduce default 20mph zones across the county, saying the machinery of democracy had come down against the move.

Following years of calls from road safety campaigners to the authority for the measure to be brought in on the vast majority of 30mph roads in North Yorkshire and numerous reviews by the council, the council’s executive member for highways said the matter had been democratically “settled”.

In an apparent attempt to draw a line under the saga, Councillor Keane Duncan issued the statement at a full meeting of North Yorkshire Council after national 20s Plenty Campaigner of the Year Ian Conlan questioned the consistency and rationale behind the authority’s actions to cut speed limits.

Mr Conlan, who is the mayor of Malton, asked if the authority would be conveying the “huge support across the county for 20mph limits in built up areas” to the incoming combined authority mayor.

The meeting heard while North Yorkshire Council had starting rolling out 20mph speed limits on specified roads across the county, a “tiny narrow street” with a school in the Ryedale village of Terrington had been included while the village’s main street, another school and village shop had been “missed off”.

Mr Conlan said while the 20mph scheme on the Terrington lane had been initiated, Malton Town Council had agreed all of its 30mph streets should be lowered to 20mph more than a year ago, but no time scale had been revealed by North Yorkshire Council for it to be implemented, if at all.

He also questioned how long the council’s waiting list for 20mph schemes was and how schemes were being prioritised.

Coun Duncan replied that the authority had made an “ambitious” commitment to reviewing speed limits across the county’s 5,700-mile road network, but that it would take time to complete.

He added the council was continuing to consider various 20mph schemes.

Coun Duncan said: “I will very much welcome a conversation with the new mayor, but if they happen to be listening to today I would remind them not to let the distorted facts stretch to suit Mr Conlan’s agenda, but remind them of the votes of this council at its last meeting, 36 for 52 against further consideration of our 20mph policy.

“This democratically elected council accounts for the whole public of North Yorkshire. We have rejected a chance to pursue a blanket approach and as far as I’m concerned the matter is now settled.”