Campaigners urge Nicola Sturgeon to back ‘Safer Streets Bill’

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 26 March 2019 in News

Health, poverty and environment campaigners argue lowering the speed limit to 20mph in urban areas would save lives

Image credit: Sandy Gemmill via Wikimedia Commons

A coalition of 25 organisations has written a joint letter to Nicola Sturgeon, urging the First Minister to back proposals to lower the default speed limit on restricted roads from 30 to 20mph.

The groups, covering active travel, health, child advocacy, poverty and environment, are campaigning for the ‘Safer Streets Bill’, currently being scrutinised in the Scottish Parliament.

They argue that lowering the speed limit to 20mph in urban areas would save lives, saying a national approach would reduce casualties, while also being more equitable and cost effective.

Scottish Green Mark Ruskell introduced the so-called ‘Safer Streets Bill’ to reduce speeds on most 30pmh streets in Scotland, with Edinburgh having introduced the measure a year ago.

The letter says: “A Scotland-wide reduction in speed limits will save lives every year, not only through reduced casualties but as more people choose active forms of travel and the air quality in our communities improves. We cannot wait for individual local authorities to implement this in a few limited areas, as and when they have the resources. We cannot wait for more studies.”

Adrian Davis, Professor of Transport and Health at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “There is strong evidence that 20mph limits have had a positive impact on public health where they have been introduced. There is consistent and convincing published research that shows 20mph speed limits reduce collisions, injuries, and motor traffic speed, all important public health concerns in Scotland."


Signatories include:

Gavin Clark, Aberdeen Cycle Forum

Gregory Kinsman Chauvet, Bike for Good

Joseph Carter, British Lung Foundation (Scotland)

Katharine Byrne, Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland

Jackie Brock, Children in Scotland

Keith Irving, Cycling Scotland

Paul Tuohy, Cycling UK

Professor Adrian L Davis, Transport Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University

Dr Emily Stevenson, Faculty of Public Health

Richard Dixon, Friends of the Earth Scotland

Bruce Whyte, Glasgow Centre for Population and Health

Iona Shepherd, Go Bike! The Strathclyde Cycle Campaign

John Davidson, Highland Cycle Campaign

Stuart Hay, Living Streets Scotland

Ian Findlay, Paths for All

Sally Hinchcliffe, Pedal on Parliament and Cycling Dumfries

Marguerite Hunter Blair, Play Scotland

Peter Kelly, Poverty Alliance

Professor Steve Turner, Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health

Craig Burns, Scottish Cycling

Dave du Feu, Spokes the Lothian Cycle Campaign

John Lauder, Sustrans Scotland

Colin Howden, Transform Scotland

Suzanne Forup, Women’s Cycling Forum



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