Mark Ruskell publishes member’s bill aimed at reducing speed limit to 20mph in built up areas

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 24 September 2018 in News

The move, which campaigners argue would help improve safety and cut air pollution, has the support of the SNP, Scottish Labour and Scottish Lib Dems

Image credit: City of Edinburgh Council

Green MSP Mark Ruskell has published a new member’s bill aimed at reducing the speed limit to 20mph in built up areas.

The move, which campaigners argue would help improve safety and cut air pollution, has the support of the SNP, Scottish Labour and Scottish Lib Dems, as well as backing from environmental and health groups.

But the Scottish Tories questioned the idea of reducing the default speed limit in urban areas from 30mph to 20mph, describing it as a “ham-fisted approach to the problem”.

Under the plans, local authorities would no longer have to go through an application process to set up a 20mph zone, but would still be able to designate 30mph routes in consultation with communities.

The leaders of both Edinburgh and Glasgow city councils have previously backed the rollout of 20mph zones.

Ruskell said: “As a local councillor and as an MSP I have seen first-hand the frustration of communities that want lower speed limits but find the current process overly complicated. By making 20 the norm in built-up areas we can end this frustration and provide the clarity that residents and motorists deserve.

“It's clear that a lower limit will mean safer streets, and I'm delighted that my bill enjoys widespread public support, the backing of safety groups, health experts, local authority chiefs and campaigners such as Mark Beaumont. I look forward to it being examined by parliament in the months ahead.”

But Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Jamie Greene MSP said: “The current targeted approach to 20mph zones, with any changes being done in consultation with the public, is still the right way forward.

“It means you can effectively tackle accident black spots and areas such as school gates, and ensure that they are policed properly.

“Adopting blanket 20mph zones is a ham-fisted approach to the problem and is difficult to enforce.

“In addition to the problems it causes for traffic flow and the increased CO2 emissions, we believe there are better ways to make our roads safer.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland air pollution campaigner Emilia Hanna said: “20mph zones make our streets safer and fairer for everyone using them, and are a vital part of the solution to air pollution.

“The faster people drive, the greater the risk of accidents, and the more off-putting it is for people to walk and cycle. Cars dominate our streets far too much already. There needs to be a much more level playing field between pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users and drivers. Slowing traffic is a key way to achieve this.”

She added: “There is also evidence that cars driving faster in built up areas produce more air pollution as they have to frequently speed up and slow down as hazards appear.”

“We hope this Bill will gain support from across the Parliament as we try to cut air pollution and further boost the numbers of people walking and cycling.”

Tags

Categories

Related Articles

Why the outrage over the Workplace Parking Levy?
11 February 2019

Plans for a parking levy dominated reaction to the budget, but why is everyone getting so worked up over car parks?

GPs across Shetland to hand out ‘Nature Prescriptions’
5 October 2018

NHS Shetland and RSPB Scotland said that by prescribing time in the outdoors, GPs could also help address a growing disconnect with nature across society

Reassurances over Brexit and the environment are “worth nothing” without new legislation, MPs warn
13 July 2018

Cross-party group of 74 MPs and peers express concern over the prospect of Brexit leading to weakened environmental protection

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Share this page