Scottish leaders should prioritise local streets

20mph Scotland Poll 72% Support. Policy costs 0.75% of transport budget for 2 years. Leaders should prioritise local streets.

Public opinion is for 20mph - 72% and rising. Scotland’s elected leader– Nicola Sturgeon should back a national change to 20mph. The cost is £10m for 2 years – only 0.75% of the total transport budget. Reducing road danger is like seatbelt and smoking ban laws. On 20mph we need leaders who will lead and make national changes!

A new poll(1) by Survation shows that 72% of those who expressed an opinion support the introduction of 20mph default speed limits. This has risen from 65% in 2017.

20’s Plenty for Us urgently call on Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP and cabinet to back 20mph for built up roads with Mark Ruskell’s Safer Streets Bill. It’s their duty of care to protect people from fast traffic. Some through roads can still be 30mph where needs of the vulnerable are provided for.

The default 20mph policy cost is small - about £22m or £10-12m a year for 2 years(2) . To put this in context – it is just 0.75% of the total Sottish Transport budget of £1317m. 20mph is a small change has big impacts with predictions of casualties prevented of at least 335-587 people pa – worth savings of £20.5m - £36.1m per year. A National policy pays for itself in the first year for eight times less money than if council’s implement 20mph individually at local level (3).

Scotland led the way with public health protection in Britain with the public smoking ban which became law in March 2006 before England in 2007.

It would be nonsense to apply a seatbelt law for one region and not for another. Yet that’s what happens with current postcode lottery in that 20mph limits apply for 80% of Edinburgh but are not planned in the Borders. Every child needs quality health and safety protection on their streets wherever they live.

The biggest killer in Scotland of five to 25 year olds is traffic crashes. For children under 12, risks rise in faster traffic environments because their eyesight cannot judge speeds over 20mph. When vehicles go at 20mph or below, most people survive collisions.

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

“Nicola Sturgeon and her cabinet ministers should do what’s popular and morally right to protect Scottish citizens from fast cars. People expect them to lead on public health protection, especially at preventing avoidable casualties to children on home streets. The policy cost is small at just 0.75% per year for two years of the transport budget. It pays for itself in the first year. Just as Scotland acted first to defend lungs from second-hand smoke as a national right, Scottish people deserve the right to live where road speeds won’t maim or kill.”


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