We have just submitted our response to the Rural and Economic Connectivity Committee of the Scottish Parliament consultation regarding the "Restricted Roads (20mph speed limit) (Scotland) Bill". This bill will set a national 20mph limit (instead of 30mph) for most restricted roads with the ability of local traffic authorities to make exceptions which will retain a 30mph limit. It provides for national consistency and local flexibility.
"We applaud the Scottish Government in progressing this bill to its current stage. It provides a huge opportunity to align Scotland to what is becoming best practice across the world and especially in more socially aware countries. It aligns Scotland with such countries as Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Austria, Germany and Japan where 30kmh is the accepted norm in communities whether urban or rural.
It will move Scotland away from the English model of inconsistent local setting of speed limits on built-up roads based on council priorities, values and empathy with communities. It will instead provide for a common national value of how roads are shared and do what national governments do best by setting those standards, facilitating implementation yet still allowing the flexibility for exceptions to be determined locally."
Our full response follows.Read more
I was delighted to be asked to speak at the seminar held in the Scottish Parliament building to discuss the private members bill for changing the national default limit for restricted roads in Scotland to 20mph. Local Authorities would be able to make appropriate exceptions where a 30mph limit would be retained for certain roads.
The text of my presentation follows :-Read more
Summary of Costs and Benefits of 3 Options for Scottish Road Speeds – The Impact of the 20mph National Default Limit
We give our best estimates of the options for rolling out 20mph limits across Scotland. The country will have the benefit of learning from the success of other country 20mph/30kmh implementations, especially England where 25% of the population lives in local authorities who are or have already implemented 20mph limits for most roads. But Scotland can follow the "English" way by implementing authority by authority subject to local political support and funding, or take a more radical and cost effective route by making a national plan for country-wide implementation.
This allows the avoidance of the need for repeater signs on 20mph roads and simplifies the whole implementation process. Local authorities will still be able to nominate roads which will remain at 30mph as exceptions.
Here we present our best estimates of the cost and benefits for each. Transport Scotland will be well placed with its access to street and road detail to produce a more accurate costing and we would be pleased to work with them on such an exercise.Read more
The Scottish Government can lead on a 20mph default for built up roads. Default 20mph is eight times cheaper than each Local Authority signing 20mph where people and motor traffic mix. LA’s funding each locality is £13.5-£15m more than a national default. We urge Ministers to choose road danger reduction at source for all and choose default 20mph. The £2m cost is only 0.3% of Scotland’s trunk road capital budget.Read more
People want 20mph streets. Fortunately 20mph limits are affordable and do-able. What’s the best method? The Scottish Government can lead with a 20mph default for built up areas. This is a cost effective win-win all round – eg for the legal process, consultation, signage, engagement, higher compliance and enforcement.Read more