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Residential roads in Scotland 'should all be 20mph zones'

Campaigners back Green MSP's bill to reduce traffic speeds in built-up areas.

Twenty's plenty: Consultation found public support for the move.
Twenty's plenty: Consultation found public support for the move. © Edinburgh Greens

Residential roads across Scotland should have their speed limit cut to 20mph, road safety campaigners said.

The charity Brake has given its support to a member's bill put forward by Green MSP Mark Ruskell, which would reduce the default limit from 30mph on streets in built-up areas.

Forcing drivers to slow down would improve safety, Brake argued, with speed a factor in 19% of fatal crashes and 11% of road accidents in Scotland in 2015.

Jason Wakeford, the charity's director of campaigns, said: "A default 20mph limit across built-up areas in Scotland offers a golden opportunity to save lives, promote sustainable transport and improve the environment.

"Travelling at lower speeds drastically reduces the risk of death and serious injury and encourages more walking and cycling - relieving pressure on the NHS and other public services."

Mr Ruskell proposed the bill after a consultation showed broad support for the move from across Scotland.

He said: "As a local councillor and as an MSP I have seen first-hand the frustration of communities that want lower speed limits but find the current process overly complicated.

"By setting 20 as the default limit we can end this frustration and provide the clarity that residents and motorists deserve."

https://stv.tv/news/east-central/1395644-edinburgh-s-20mph-speed-limit-to-extend-to-west-of-city/ | default

A Transport Scotland spokesman said there were no current plans to lower speed limits, stating decisions on urban speed limits were "best taken at local authority level".

He added that transport minister Humza Yousaf had met Mr Ruskell to discuss the bill and would consider the results of the consultation.

"The Scottish Government is committed through Scotland's Road Safety Framework to 2020 to reducing risk on Scotland's roads," the spokesman said.

"The mid-term review of the framework which concluded last year identified speed, pedestrian and cyclists as priority areas for activity through to 2020.

"Our road safety partners agreed a commitment to encourage local authorities to introduce 20 mph zones or limits in residential areas and places with a high volume of pedestrians and cyclists."

Many roads in Edinburgh already operate a 20mph limit, with more streets having speeds reduced in early 2018.

Edinburgh City Council said the initiative has made roads safer and reduced traffic noise.

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