Police are working with West Lothian Council on the development of the 20mph zones introduced under the Spaces for People programmes.

Sgt Ian Wells said the work was ongoing  as the 20mph trial develops but he stressed that traffic officers have to target accident blackspots.

At previous local area committees officers have presented a picture where the bulk of police contact has been from those complaining about drivers ignoring the new signs.

It comes as roads engneers prepare to report to a meeting of the full council next week on the rollout of the controversial programme last summer.

Sgt Wells told the Fauldhouse and Breich Valley Local Area Committee: “We must prioritise those locations which presented a greater risk, area where there have been previous accidents or fatalities  or where speed has been a significant factor.”

 He added: “We don’t have infinite resources to go and look at all areas in West Lothian so we really need to be quite robust in addressing these priority areas.”

Cllr Pauline Clark

Councillor Pauline Clark raised issues of speeding through Longridge on the  A706. She said: “I’ve had reports of drivers doing 50-60 miles an hour through what is a 20moh zone. How much weight would you put on a community saying that they have witnessed loads of near misses. People overtaking on the brow of a hill?”

Sgt Wells said one of the problems with main arterial routes was the high numbers of traffic  with few of the drivers being local. Traffic police could set up at the site but when they left the trouble would start again. On such sites it becomes a case of road engineering to slow traffic down, the police can and do have an impact in their contact with the council’s roads engineers. He suggested that he would ask the local road traffic liaison officer to raise the issue with  council roads engineers  to say that local representatives had  raised concerns about the area.

by Stuart Sommerville, Local Democracy Reporter