Following a decision made earlier today by the council’s Transport and Environment Committee the network of roads in the city which will have a 20mph limit has been extended by over 3km.
Despite objections from those who feel that traffic is already too slow, and those who fear that slower traffic will lead to more air pollution, the council will now act upon plans aired during its consultation last year when over 2500 people completed questionnaires and over 13,000 views were made known on the council’s website. Almost 50% of those who responded strongly supported the move citing improved safety as one of the main concerns.
Groups who opposed the move were fearful that there would be little enforcement and that a blanket 20mph would mean that drivers would become careless at a lower speed. Cyclists expressed the view that cars would be travelling at much the same speed as a competent cyclist which would mean less opportunity for cars to pass, and meaning that it would take them longer to do so causing more danger to the cyclist.
The council plans to introduce physical measures as a last resort, knowing that speed bumps and chicanes are the least favourite measures on our streets.
This does not mean that every street will be a 20mph street. The new limit is intended to curb speed on residential streets and busy shopping areas.
Some streets will retain their 30mph status, such as Queensferry Road, West Coates, Western Approach Road, London Road, Dalkeith Road, Ferry Road and Pennywell Road.
You can check on your own street by having a look at the council’s interactive map.
The council took account of the views of many interested parties including the public and other road users like the Road Haulage Association, Police Scotland and Lothian Buses.
A plan will now be drawn up as to how the new speed limits will be introduced across the city and a further report made to the committee when it next meets in March.
Part of that will be monitoring of the traffic in areas where the new limit will be introduced so that success or otherwise of the scheme can be monitored in a year’s time.
A campaign to inform road users of the new speed restrictions will swing into action later in the year to assist all road users who will have to adopt the culture change that a lower speed limit is likely to make.
We will add a Storify amalgamation of some of the prize tweets from this morning’s meeting here very soon!