Edinburgh’s bid to become “the first 20mph city in Scotland” moved a step closer yesterday when, as anticipated, councillors approved a map of 20mph, 30mph and 40mph limits for the city.
Provided the necessary Speed Limit Orders are secured, the new arrangements – a 20mph speed limit on residential and shopping streets with a network of 30mph and 40mph maintained for key arterial routes – will come into effect on a phased basis from late 2015 onwards.
A detailed implementation plan, including costings, will be considered by Edinburgh Council’s Transport and Environment Committee in March.
Edinburgh Council has also taken the opportunity to “address some of the misconceptions about the plans” by publishing its response to what it describes as the ‘top 10 myths’ about the scheme.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, the city’s transport convener, said: "There have been a number of claims flying about to do with the ins and outs of the 20mph rollout which are quite simply untrue and it’s vital that everyone has the full facts at their fingertips.
"For example, it’s not a ‘blanket rollout’ at all. Each street which is earmarked to become 20mph has been selected based on robust criteria agreed with key stakeholders, including bus companies and Police Scotland.
"Police Scotland will continue to enforce legal speed limits right across the Capital and anyone caught flouting the 20mph limit will face warnings or speeding fines.
"Key arterial routes are being maintained at 30mph or 40mph so that we can keep cross-city traffic flowing, even though some residents in these areas would have preferred a change to 20mph.
“It’s important that we get the balance right as much as we can, however inevitably not everyone will be able to get what they hoped for."
The council’s list of myths which it says it has ‘busted’ cover safety, congestion, emissions, enforcement, the effect on businesses, traffic calming, journey times and drivers’ speeds.