Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh to roll out 20mph speed limit across city

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Media captionWork could begin later this year if the proposals are passed

More than 80% of Edinburgh's roads, including the whole of the city centre, are to have a 20mph speed limit under council plans.

If the proposals get the go ahead, work on the scheme would begin later this year with it being completed over three financial years.

Meanwhile, a study into ditching free Sunday parking is to go ahead.

Plans for the 20mph limit follows a consultation exercise, which the council said showed strong support.

Support was strongest among the parents of children under 16, while businesses were split 50/50.

Campaigners have called on towns and cities elsewhere in Scotland to follow suit.

About 25 miles of Edinburgh's roads, from Arthur's Seat to Blackford Hill, are already covered by a 20mph limit.

It is designed to improve safety and encourage more people to walk or cycle.

The plans will go before members of the council's transport and environment committee for approval on 13 January.

Councillors on the committee will be asked to a sign off a £110,000 study of parking in the evenings and on Sundays. The report will also look at the impact the plans would have on residents and businesses, with the results published in June.

A public consultation on a draft action plan would then be held some time before August.

Proposals being considered for the plan include extending evening parking restrictions, introducing parking fines on Sundays and extending permit holders' parking rights in pay-and-display parking bays.

Slower speeds

Lesley Hinds, Edinburgh City Council's transport convener, said: "We were absolutely delighted with the huge response to our consultation in the autumn and it's great to be moving on to the stage of finalising exactly which streets will become 20mph, provided the necessary Traffic Regulation Orders are secured.

"Edinburgh is taking a very bold step in introducing slower speeds for so much of its roads and we're aware that other cities in Scotland are watching our example keenly.

"There's obviously a lot of work to be done to raise public awareness between now and the first new limits coming into effect.

"It's undoubtedly a culture change for the whole city but we're very encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response we've seen to the pilot project in South Edinburgh.

"Support for 20mph limits was already high before the pilot began but it increased even more once people tried out the slower speeds in practice."

John Lauder, national director of Sustrans Scotland, said: "It is fantastic to see Edinburgh Council rolling out 20mph speed limits across more and more streets in the capital.

"Sustrans wants to see increasing numbers of people choosing to travel actively on an everyday basis, whether on foot or by bike, and we think that reducing traffic speeds is a key way to helping achieve this.

"Many other towns and cities across Scotland will no doubt be watching Edinburgh closely as implementation of the new 20mph network gets under way. Hopefully they will like what they see and learn from Edinburgh's experience."

Edmund King, AA president, said: "What we would advise Edinburgh and other cities looking at 20mph limits is to target them where they really are needed.

"The busiest shopping streets, the road outside the school, the residential areas, rather than just introducing blanket limits, which generally aren't supported by motorists and therefore it's very difficult to enforce."

Supt Phil O'Kane, of Police Scotland, said: "We will not routinely police the 20mph zones, however we will respond to any particular zones where there is a casualty reduction requirement.

"We will enforce the 20mph zones outside schools because that is important for the children of Edinburgh."

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