20mph should mean 20mph, says Green councillor

All streets within the city boundary should have 20mph limits, according to Green councillors in Edinburgh.

At today’s City Council Transport and Environment Committee, the Greens sought to amend a paper on 20mph limits by extending 20mph zones to all roads, with only very limited exceptions, to be reviewed annually.

The party’s transport spokesperson, Cllr Nigel Bagshaw explained why:

“Naturally, I  welcome the extension of 20 mph zones across the city, agreed today.  More than half of road deaths and serious injuries occur on roads with 30 mph limits. Britain has the highest percentage of pedestrian road fatalities in Europe. And British parents consistently cite traffic speed as the main reason why their children are not allowed to cycle or walk to school.

“These compelling facts are precisely why I think that there should be a presumption of a 20 mph speed limit on all the cities roads. It has the potential to transform Edinburgh from a city blighted by traffic to one which is safer and more pleasant for its citizens to live in.

“When vehicles are driving within the city boundaries, and within the villages in the rural west of the city, they should do so in the certain knowledge that 20mph is the limit everywhere, unless it is clearly signalled otherwise.  Such higher limit roads – like, say, the Western Approach Road – should be very much the exception and should be reviewed annually.

“Having a clear default limit of 20mph will save lives and reduce noise and pollution. But it will also be better and clearer for drivers: reducing risks of fines because of uncertainty about limits, reducing fuel consumption and wear and tear on vehicles.

“So, that is why I want to see blanket 20 mph coverage across the city, to ensure that arterial roads across the city are included and that all streets where people live, work, shop or play enjoy the benefits such coverage is acknowledged to bring.

“20 should mean 20.”

The Committee voted against the Green proposals 12-2.