MOTORISTS should be restricted to driving at 40mph on rural single carriageway roads and children be given routes to school as part of numerous measures to increase the numbers of people walking and cycling, it has been claimed.

Four months after members of Richmondshire District Council overwhelmingly voted in support of declaring a climate emergency, councillors are being urged to further the authority’s green credentials by creating a low cost public environment that encourages cycling and walking and cuts traffic congestion.

In a notice of motion to next week’s full authority meeting, Catterick and Brompton-on-Swale councillor Leslie Rowe states while Richmondshire is increasingly an attraction for cyclists and walkers, it has relatively few dedicated cycle routes.

He said to better meet many of the council’s aims the district needs a clear Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan.

Cllr Rowe said the council needed to support a network of safe, accessible and direct routes that link the places to which people need to get to, and in particular, the council should prioritise routes for children to get to school.

To deliver the necessary infrastructure, the council needs to work with North Yorkshire County Council and other partners to obtain Government and other funding to build the infrastructure required and campaign for at least five per cent of all local transport funds to be allocated to cycling and walking.

The independent member said he also wanted the district council to press for speed limits to be cut to 40mph on all rural single carriageways and 20mph through towns and villages.

Ahead of the meeting councillors have given the notice of motion a mixed reception, saying elements of it would be “difficult at best to achieve”, and others said they supported its principles.

The council’s former leader, Councillor Yvonne Peacock said the district council had been pouring its resources into developing active travel and tourism for some time, and cited a recent example investing £50,000 into the Swale cycle trail for families.

She said: “Another example of efforts being made by local authorities in Richmondshire include the walking school buses.

“However, I’m not saying we can’t do more.”