Road Safety News

New 20mph guidance published

Monday 12th January 2015

The Scottish Government has published new guidance on implementing 20 mph speed restrictions.

This Good Practice Guide, written in conjunction with the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS), aims to provide clarity on the options available to local authorities.

The guidance is designed to “aid greater consistency on setting 20mph speed restrictions throughout Scotland while encouraging local authorities to introduce them near schools, in residential areas and in other areas of towns and cities where there is a significant volume of pedestrian or cyclist activity”.

Derek Mackay, minister for transport & islands, said: “The Scottish Government is committed to creating a healthier, greener and safer Scotland and believes that the introduction of 20mph restrictions can contribute to all these objectives.

“By reducing speed on our roads we can create streets where the space is shared more equally between different road users and create a safer environment, encouraging people to make active travel choices.

“Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020 set challenging casualty reduction targets and aims to address speed as one of its main priorities. This new 20mph guidance will help towards achieving these targets by reducing speeds on our roads.”

Transport Scotland supported an extensive 20 mph trial in Edinburgh which it says “resulted in lower vehicle speeds, without the need for traffic calming measures, and attracted strong support from residents”.

Transport Scotland goes on to say the “results of this trial mean that local authorities throughout Scotland can now consider the introduction of 20 mph limits, without traffic calming, in circumstances detailed in the guide”.




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Cameras? Why mention cameras?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (8) | Disagree (4)

Robert Bolt understates his case. Exceeding the speed limit "likely or possibly" involved in 4 to 5% of all injury accidents and 8 to 9% of FSC (Stats19 analysis). It is therefore literally impossible for cameras to achieve anything like the reductions long claimed for them.
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (5) | Disagree (7)

To quote: 'Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020 set challenging casualty reduction targets and aims to address speed as one of its main priorities'.

But in most statistics I have seen speed is not a major factor in reducing casualties. Typically in published figures as to Why Collisions Occur, exceeding the speed limit is about 7%, and travelling too fast for conditions about 12%. The major factor is Driver failed to look properly, about 37%. Transport Scotland are concentrating on the wrong things if they are serious about casualty reduction.
Robert Bolt, St Albans

Agree (12) | Disagree (4)

Great idea, why did it take so long? Reduce speed limits for the vast majority of people wishing to go about their business! Next week - limit engines to 2 cylinders?
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (8) | Disagree (9)

This is a very positive move forward as Scotland's 20mph guidance dated from 2001 and was very 20th century. Our press release is at and concludes:

“We have long been lobbying for Transport Scotland to update its guidance on 20mph limits. This new guidance addresses that and gives local Scottish Traffic Authorities the ability to deploy wide-area 20mph limits more widely, more cost effectively and more successfully. We welcome this important update and encourage Scottish local authorities to progress with wide-area 20mph limits for their communities.”
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (6) | Disagree (13)

Broadly speaking this looks good. BUT what is proposed for cyclists who habitually use country roads which currently have a 60MPH speed limit? Personally I think this limit should be reduced to 50MPH but up and down where cyclists practice their interests? Unworkable. Please clarify.
Alan Jamieson, Zperth

Agree (1) | Disagree (10)