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07 December 2023, 17:35

Scotland set to introduce 20mph across all its streets!

In a significant move towards enhanced road safety, Scotland is set to implement plans to reduce the speed limit on the majority of its urban roads to 20mph by the year 2025. This initiative, confirmed by Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop at the 20’s Plenty for Scotland conference in Edinburgh, aligns with the commitment made in the SNP programme for government and the Bute House agreement with the Scottish Greens.

Currently, lower speed limits are already in effect in specific areas of Scotland, including parts of the capital, Glasgow, the Highlands, and the Scottish Borders. The forthcoming widespread adoption of 20mph speed limits is inspired by Wales, which became the pioneering region in the UK to introduce a blanket 20mph limit in September.

Mark Ruskell, the Greens' transport spokesman, emphasized the potential positive impact of this move on road safety, stating that it would contribute to making Scotland's roads safer, ultimately reducing casualties. Ruskell highlighted the success of existing 20mph limits in various parts of the country, emphasizing the simplicity, speed, and cost-effectiveness of this approach in minimizing accidents.

The City of Edinburgh Council, leading the way in this initiative, became the first local authority in Scotland to implement 20mph limits across the city. The initiative, marked by the presence of a dedicated mascot named "The Reducer," was gradually rolled out between 2016 and 2018. Currently, approximately 86% of Edinburgh's roads fall under the 20mph zone.

Research conducted by esteemed universities in collaboration with transport charity Sustrans found that the implementation of 20mph limits in Edinburgh significantly contributed to road safety. The study revealed a nearly 25% reduction in road deaths and a 33% decrease in serious injuries. The overall number of collisions dropped by 40%, resulting in 409 fewer casualties.

The success of the Edinburgh initiative has prompted a consultation to extend the 20mph zone to cover an even more extensive 90% of the capital's roads. This data-driven approach emphasizes the positive outcomes of reducing speed limits in urban areas and underscores the commitment to creating safer, greener, and cleaner communities across Scotland. As the nation moves towards a comprehensive 20mph limit, the focus remains on saving lives and fostering safer streets for all citizens.

Notes to the editor

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