National 20mph limit for Scotland is 8 times cheaper than authority by authority

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. 

20’s Plenty for Us have estimated costs for three Scottish speed limit options - do nothing, local authority devolved decision making and a National Default for “restricted” (lighted) roads. 20mph is proven to protect people and raise their quality of life.  Do nothing is not best practice.  Calculations are from Edinburgh’s 20mph at £4.46 per head. Fewer signs are needed for default. Signing is only used on excepted 10-20% of roads left with higher limits by local authority discretion rather than 80% set at 20mph.

1        Do Nothing

2        Local Authority by Authority (devolved)

3        Scottish National Default

£0. Yet ignores the evidence that 20mph limits are best practice for public health, popular & cost effective

Edinburgh 20mph scheme:  £2.2m or £4.46 p/head to sign 20mph for 80% of roads. Rest of urban Scotland population 3.85m people = £17.22m

30mph signs for 10% of Scotland’s urban population outside Edinburgh 385,000 people= £1.72m. Or 30mph signs for 20% = £3.44m.  National TV ads £0.25m

Not best practice. 20mph reduces casualties by 20%. Greater health costs of inactivity. Litigation risks and spiralling social care costs by not protecting the vulnerable.

Total £17.22m plus benefits of reducing avoidable risks. 20% fewer casualties, extra exercise & better quality of life, better air quality etc over option 1.

Total = £1.97 - £3.69m £13.53-£15.25m less costly or up to 8.7 times cheaper than devolved option 2.  Plus better driver compliance from national advertising and consistency. Over 20% fewer casualties

At the Scottish 20mph conference (June 2016), delegates from authorities across Scotland almost without exception agreed a National default 20mph limit as their preferred way forward for built up roads.

With Local Authorities strapped for cash, there’s a strong economic argument that central Government can save taxpayers £15m by announcing a default 20mph limit change. It would be the quickest, cheapest, most administratively efficient, cost effective option. Plus drivers would notice more messaging on road speeds and therefore compliance is increased and the benefits greater than a change made by each local authority.

We ask the Scottish Government to stop leaving its citizen’s public health risks on home streets to the postcode lottery of localism. Ministers should announce a plan for the transition to 20’s Plenty where people live, work, shop and learn as soon as possible.  At £2m a default national 20mph limit is only 0.3% of Scotland’s trunk road capital budget of £695m. As an interim measure, Ministers could delegate powers to allow Local Authorities to sign the edges of communities to state that cities and towns are 20mph unless otherwise signed.

Rod King MBE, Campaign Director of 20’s Plenty for Us said

People prefer to live, work, shop and exercise on 20mph roads. A Scottish national default 20mph limit is the most cost effective way forward.  We recommend Local Authority members lobby Government Ministers to save overall road budgets and taxpayers money by announcing a 20mph Scottish National Default.”

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