Transport Scotland announces 20mph pilot on trunk roads

12.00 | 18 December 2013 | | 5 comments

Five communities across Scotland are to have new 20 mph speed limits in a pilot scheme designed to improve safety on trunk roads.

The five pilot areas – Maybole, Largs, Biggar, Langholm and Oban – have been chosen using selection criteria taking accident rates, vehicle speeds and traffic data into account.

A consultation process will now develop more specific proposals for each location. The process will involve discussions with the local authority, community groups and other stakeholders, and statutory consultation.

It is expected that the 20 mph schemes on the trunk roads will be largely self-enforcing with no need for traffic calming measures. The use of gateway treatments, signing and lining will reinforce the speed limit changes.

Keith Brown, Scotland’s transport minister, said: “The safety of the trunk road network is a priority for Transport Scotland and managing speed is an important part of our strategy. 

“It is essential that speeds are appropriate to conditions and these pilot zones will help us establish the benefits of lowering speeds in towns and villages where it is reasonable to do so.

“The five trials will seek to improve road safety generally but we expect them to bring specific benefits for vulnerable road users such as older people and cyclists.

“There have been a number of calls for lower speed limits and specifically 20 mph limits and we have had to whittle these down to a number that will give us a meaningful overview of how this will work in a variety of locations.

“In doing so, we considered the number of accidents and other factors such as traffic volumes and speeds as well as HGV numbers and the characteristics of the location.

“The proposed pilot areas should not require significant engineering or police enforcement to support their operation and we hope to begin the wider consultation processes early next year.

“If these are completed successfully, the 20mph zones may be in place by the spring or early summer.”

Click here to read the full Transport Scotland news release.


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    In 1903 the speed limit was raised to 20mph, so much for progress! Whatever statistics these ‘experts’ come up with about people wanting 20mph speed limits, a normal drive around your own town will immediately show that most people do not want even the outdated 30mph limit!

    Terry Hudson
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    Is there not already more than enough data on 20mph areas, still awaiting analysis, to make yet another trial redundant? What on earth do they expect to find out that could not be established more cheaply and more quickly by looking at what has already happened?

    Idris Francis Fight Back with Facts Petersfield
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    I have seen the YouTube video of Langholm taken and shown by the ’20’s Plenty’ organisation and I would now have to say that twenty is far too fast.

    The village is like many others with a main road running straight through and wide enough for hand carts only. Any heavy goods vehicle doing the new max of 20 mph would in my opinion be 15 mph too fast. They take three times the distance to stop than an ordinary vehicle and if articulated will no doubt lose the rear end and cause serious property damage or injury.

    20 mph is far too fast. What it wants is the costly engineering feat of a bypass for HGVs as a maximum of 20 mph isn’t going to solve any problems there. I would presume that the other villages are of the same ilk.

    bob craven Lancs
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    For those of you not familiar with Langholm, here is a link to a video taken on their High Street.

    Rod King, 20’s Plenty for Us
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    I think that we will all wait with bated breath to find out the results of these measures. Pity that its going to take some years before that happens and I am sure that in the meantime there will be proponents and opponents postulating on the outcome.

    The cause however goes on as it is supported by this government as stated a few years ago and now apparently by the Scottish assembly.

    20 mph will happen but whether its to be blanket cover, which apparently does not require speed humps etc. or just individual side roads which apparently do require silent measures, will have to be determined by local authorities in response to public opinion.

    I know of many 20 mph measures locally that have been recinded because whilst the local population want 20 mph in front of their houses they see no reason for it being blanket on trunk roads unless there is a special need such as schools (at certain times) or other identifiable dangers.

    The jury will be out for some time.

    bob craven Lancs
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