Mark Ruskell’s ground-breaking private members bill to set a 20mph limit for most residential roads today gained support from Scottish Greens and Labour but was vetoed by SNP, Scottish Tories and LibDem SMPs. Responding to this regressive vote, campaigners are renewing urgent calls to set 20mph limits as the standard in Scottish communities!
Mark Ruskell’s SaferStreets Bill for a National default 20mph limit for U and C class roads failed at Stage 1 on 13 June. Speakers, in the not well attended debate, referenced extensive research-proven safety, popular, community, active travel, climate and cost effectiveness benefits. Yet the SNP, Scottish Tories and Lib Dems voted against the Scottish Green and Labour groups 83 to 26. MSPs appeared whipped with voting by party power blocks.
Specious points against 20mph wrongly described the Bill as one-size-fits-all, questioned its cost implications and local flexibility. 20’s Plenty for Us rebuttals are at http://www.20splenty.org/response_to_recc / http://www.20splenty.org/we_reply_to_scots_gov Our positive video: 10 reasons for is https://vimeo.com/337590864
MSPs sided with the motoring lobby, ignoring public health experts and popular support (70+% agree with 20mph). 20’s Plenty say it’s “illogical and inhumane” not to pursue a National 20mph once the Government accept 20mph is safer.
What next? First the Scots government will face a backlash from extremely angry, disillusioned road victim, health, child, elderly, cycling, walking, play, poverty, disability, climate, pollution, noise and environmental organisations.
Second, expect grief, despair and dismay for the five needless deaths and 750 injuries that could have been avoided per year. Plus other aims confounded without the lynch pin of a National 20mph limit - like raising cycling.
Mark Ruskell MSP in his closing speech said
“Every child, every person living on every street in Scotland, deserves their freedom, their right to play, to walk, to cycle, to live without fear. Every country, every city which values those rights and freedoms across Europe is setting a safer speed limit – a 20mph speed limit. This is Scotland’s moment to put our values first, to put their lives first and to vote for safer streets for everyone.”
Rod King MBE, Director of 20’s Plenty for Us said
“This was an opportunity for the Scottish Parliament to align its standard and values with best practice in European countries where 30km/h (18.5mph) is the de-facto default. But the vision they had was with the eyes of a driver rather than that of a child, or mother walking children to school, or elderly person walking to shops. Their vision was not of a healthier nation that was unafraid to walk or cycle in their communities.
They failed the supportive NGO’s in public health and active travel. They failed their constituents. And they failed every child who wants to walk or cycle to their local school. Our campaigns across Scotland will continue to keep up the pressure to set 20mph as the default for community streets and hold this government to account for casualties on their life-threatening 30mph national limit roads.”