Three quarters of Scots support 20mph speed limit in towns

Written by Tom Freeman on 14 March 2019 in News

New poll for Scottish Greens shows increased support for drop in residential speed limit

20pmh speed limit - credit Neil Turner

Support for lowering the speed limit in Scottish towns and cities to 20mph has risen to 72 per cent, according to a new Survation poll conducted for the Scottish Greens.

Support for the measure, which has been operating in Edinburgh for a year, has grown from 65 per cent in 2017.

Scottish Green Mark Ruskell has introduced a member’s bill to make the rule apply to most 30pmh streets in Scotland.

Ruskell called for the Scottish Government to back the idea.

“All the evidence demonstrates that introducing a 20mph limit in residential areas across Scotland would save lives,” he said.

“We’ve known that a majority of the public have backed safer streets for some time, and it’s great to see an ever clearer majority in this latest poll.

“It’s clear that people across the country recognise the benefits of introducing a default 20mph limit in their communities.”

Holyrood’s rural economy and connectivity committee heard that public opinion in the capital has shifted from one in four to one in five opposed since its introduction.

Dr Ruth Jepson, reader in public health at Edinburgh University, told MSPs: “One year after the full implementation of the 20mph across Edinburgh results indicate a decrease in the average speed of 1.6mph, from 24.3mph to 22.7mph.”

However, Police Scotland said enforcing the speed limit would not be a priority for officers.

Head of road policing chief superintendent Stewart Carle said: “I must prioritise where there is the biggest impact. "Suddenly switching a lot of resources from faster roads would not give the same gain.”

It is understood speed camera vans will be deployed to enforce Edinburgh's 20mph zones from the first week in April.

Researchers estimate that every drop in average speed of one mile per hour equates to a six per cent drop in the casualty rate.

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