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Edinburgh set to become Scotland’s ‘first 20mph city’

Friday 9th January 2015

A “large swathe” of roads in Edinburgh could change to 20mph from late 2015 if plans are approved next week to make Edinburgh “the first 20mph city in Scotland”.

A map of proposed 20mph limits for hundreds of Edinburgh streets has been drawn up after a public consultation which attracted almost 3,000 responses.

In the consultation, which concluded in October 2014, 60% of respondents supported or strongly supported the proposals, with 36% opposed or strongly opposed.

The new 20mph network, which goes before the council's transport and environment committee for approval on 13 January, would see the majority of the city’s residential streets and shopping areas become 20mph zones.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, transport convener, said: "We were absolutely delighted with the huge response to our consultation and it's great to be moving on to the stage of finalising exactly which streets will become 20mph, provided the necessary Traffic Regulation Orders are secured.

"Edinburgh is taking a very bold step in introducing slower speeds for so much of its roads and we're aware that other cities in Scotland are watching our example keenly.

"There's obviously a lot of work to be done to raise public awareness between now and the first new limits coming into effect. It's undoubtedly a culture change for the whole city but we're very encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response we've seen to the pilot project in South Edinburgh.

“Support for 20mph limits was already high before the pilot began but it increased even more once people tried out the slower speeds in practice."

John Lauder, national director of Sustrans Scotland, said: "It is fantastic to see Edinburgh Council rolling out 20mph speed limits across more and more streets in the capital. 

“Sustrans wants to see increasing numbers of people choosing to travel actively on an everyday basis, whether on foot or by bike, and we think that reducing traffic speeds is a key way to helping achieve this.” 

However, a spokesperson for the city’s small businesses, said that tradesmen who rely on cars to travel between jobs would be unduly affected by the 20mph proposals.

Talking to the Edinburgh Evening News, Gordon Henderson of the Federation of Small Businesses said: “I think we’ll start seeing quite a few businesses moving away from the city centre as a result of these measures.

“Before long, we’re going reach the point where if you’re phoning a tradesman in need of work, they’re going to be closer to the city bypass.”

If the proposed 20mph network is approved next Tuesday, it is anticipated that the programme will be rolled out over a maximum of three financial years.

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It's hard to comment when we don't have all the facts. Just what were the questions asked of the public. Presumably it was to do with (possible) safer roads, freedom for children to play in, safety with less or no risk of injury, cycling to and from school, playing out, streets becoming for residents use and not dangerous traffic. Less accidents, less collisions less incidents less loss of life less pollution. should I go on? What if anything was published against it, we haven't a clue.

We all know that this government want to be seen to be doing something for zero deaths by 2020 and this is where they have hung their hat. They have publically said previously it's going to happen by 2015. When something like this happens it usually takes place in Scotland or N.I. as a test piece. No doubt it will be acclaimed as a winner later this year.
Bob Craven Lancs....Space is Safe Campaigner

Agree (3) | Disagree (2)
+1

If an LA, wearing its highway/traffic regulatory hat, believes a certain speed limit or any other regulatory measure is appropriate, it should have the courage of its convictions and introduce it via the usual statutory procedures, dealing with any objections at the appropriate time. i.e skip the 'public consultation' bit - the public are not usually well-informed enough on such matters to have a useful input as is evident from the sample objections quoted.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (3)
+1