Road Safety News

Phase three of Edinburgh’s 20mph rollout goes live

Wednesday 16th August 2017

Phase three of Edinburgh's citywide rollout of lower speeds to residential and shopping streets has gone live today (16 August), with many roads across the north west and west of the city becoming 20mph.

Phase one of the scheme went live in July 2016. At the time, the council said the new limits are aimed at increasing safety for all road users as well as creating a calmer, more people-friendly environment in shopping and residential streets.

Signs and road markings have been put in place across the phase three areas, including Clermiston and Clovenstone, marking which streets have changed to 20mph.

As with the whole rollout project, a strategic network of roads has been retained at 30mph and 40mph.

To mark the launch, children from the area displayed road safety-themed artwork at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Pupils from Murrayfield Nursery took centre stage at the event, alongside Edinburgh's transport convener councillor Lesley Macinnes and constable Stephen Nelson (pictured).

Cllr Macinnes said: “The Capital is blazing a trail by becoming the first city in Scotland to introduce slower speeds in all residential and shopping streets, as well as our city centre.

“Calming traffic is better for everyone - first and foremost, it's far safer, with anyone hit at 20mph seven times more likely to survive than someone struck at 30mph.

“It's quieter, too, and helps people feel more comfortable walking and cycling, creating more pleasant streets and neighbourhoods which boosts community cohesion and encourages support for local businesses as people choose to spend more time in an area.

"Smoother driving through less unnecessary acceleration and deceleration, coupled with an increase in people choosing active travel and public transport over private cars, means less congestion and better air quality for everyone."

The 20mph rollout is supported, and enforced, by Police Scotland, who have handed out nearly 600 warnings and 26 tickets since the programme began.

Temporary superintendent Mark Rennie, Police Scotland, said: "Road safety is a priority for police in Edinburgh, and we are continuing to work with the City of Edinburgh Council to raise awareness of the 20mph zones.

“We will continue to carry out proactive speed checks to enforce the limits where operational demands allow, with priority being given to new zones, areas around schools, and locations where there have been previous collisions where speed was a factor."

Related stories

Edinburgh prepares for phase three of 20mph rollout
17 July 2017

Categories: 20mph, Speed.


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How stupid is it to "roll out" a 20 miles/h speed limit without any means of ensuring that it is enforced? It didn't work in the first half of the 20th Century and it will fail again now (It already has, in other cities where it has been tried.) But there's no excuse this Century - the implementation of mandatory ISA in 20 miles/h areas is not only possible, but long overdue. Only the incredible complacency of central government (taking advantage of the ignorance of 20 miles/h campaigners, perhaps) stands in the way of creating a much more comfortable urban environment for non-motorised road users.
Andrew Fraser, Stirling

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It is asked why not set speed limits to 10mph? Because road safety is a relative priority and not an absolute priority. Decisions in life are often a balance of conflicting pressures. See section 1 of the DfT Circular 01/2013 for more on the DfT reasoning.

The DfT circular also mentions my favourite theme on 20s which has been sadly absent from this thread so far: The limitations of enforcement resources and the implicit expectations of non-compliance to the new lower speed limits in signed-only schemes. I noted the careful words in the quote reported from Police Scotland.
Pat, Wales

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If life is to be believed and it becomes safer at 20 mph through a massive reductions in incidents, injuries and deaths then why not regulate vehicles to doing not more than 10 mph? They already do these lower speeds whilst in traffic queues so doing it in and around any built up area would be no different. Just think of the massive reductions in incidents and collisions, in injuries and deaths, if we were to reduce traffic to these slower speeds.

I am not against 20 mph in many circumstances as I do obey them contrary to the apparent needs of other traffic behind me. If it were to be reduced to 10 mph again I would obey them irrespective of any other issues. I do see the benefit of 10 mph though as traffic will build up and space between vehicles will reduce at least at 10 mph there is less chance of hitting another vehicle in front if one is giving the safe following on distance of say that which would be appropriate at 20 mph.

Without safe distances we will still have many rear end collisions and further with less peripheral vision we will still endure pedestrian casualties so no change there.
Bob Craven Lancs

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Try not to mix posted speed limits with any presumptions of actual vehicle average speeds. There are plenty of 30mph roads where vehicle speeds are already at or below 24 mph. That is the basis of ‘signed-only’ 20s in DfT Circular 01/2013 Setting Local Speed Limits guidance over a larger number of roads. (Also Setting Local Speed limits Wales circular 24/2009)

So speeds in a previously 30mph speed limit may be very similar or perhaps 1 mph less after a 20mph speed limit was introduced in a wide area – as also mentioned in the DfT circular citing Portsmouth as an example.
Pat, Wales

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Most of us cannot relate to the idea of hitting someone at 20mph or 30mph and the relative chances of a person surviving. Its not in our experience. The statistic I prefer is that in the distance a 20mph car can stop, a 30mph car is still travelling at 24mph. I guess we have all experienced such "near misses" and therefore it can be imagined. Every one of us can understand the difference between "stopping in time" and hitting someone at 24mph.

And that difference explains why the 30mph limit is so flawed. It may have been appropriate in 1930, but not now. Its why agencies such as WHO are saying that 30kmh/20mph should be the maximum speed where motor vehicles conflict with pedestrians and cyclists. That can never be achieved with a built-up limit that endorses driving at 30mph and hosts 111,000 casualties a year. The default 30mph limit is no longer fit for purpose. Well done Edinburgh for consigning it to the 20th century where it belongs.
Rod King, Warrington, Cheshire, 20's Plenty for Us

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Just to confirm Bob in case you've misundertood, I'm not knocking 20s - I fully support them - it's that particular perverse 'celebratory' short-sighted argument about any ensuing collisions only causing injury and not death, when the main argument should be 'no impact' at all. To be fair, I don't think all supporters of 20s use the particular 'no more fatalities' naive argument. I'm pretty sure Rod King doesn't, for instance.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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This is unfortunately the sort of information the supporters of the 20 is plenty scheme is coming with, first of all old and outdated information used to their advantage and as I have previously said its sensationalism at its worst. Its creating a scenario that the normal person believes that all will be better and safer in a world where speeds are reduced and more that their children will be a lot safer. 7 times safer if hit that is. I agree with you Hugh wholeheartedly, its a bad do all round.
Bob Craven Lancs

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It's not so much the accuracy of the statement that bothers me Bob - it may well be true - it's the message that hitting a pedestrian, but not actually killing them, is somehow all that we can hope for. Hitting a pedestrian is inexcusable at any speed especially as low as under 20 when it just be impossible, so we shouldn't be letting drivers off by seemingly accepting injuries-only collisions.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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Hugh, Quite correct, its their campaign and its what they are putting out. If that is untrue or misleading its up to them to either put it right or at least be right the first time and not quote from unrelient, antiquated and outdated information.

I was pointing out that the stats given were suspect and perhaps somewhat sensationalistic and that times have moved on and instead of being so sensational with figures perhaps they can become more practical and correct. Is it to much to ask that the information put out, and let's face it for the sole purposes of supporting the scheme, is factually correct and not as it is sensationalism in its worst form.
Bob Craven Lancs

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The phrase Bob refers to, irks me as well - hitting a pedestrian with a car and not killing them is not something to aspire to and for which we should not be patting ourselves on the back for. That phrase or 'claim' should not be used in the promotion of lower speed limits as it is rather abhorent.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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They say that "Anyone hit at 20 mph is 7 times more likely to survive than if hit at 30 mph." Is there any actual information that would support or corroberate this statement. I understand that it became a popular argument a few decades ago but was in fact from a survey done in the 1970's. With many changes in materials and body shapes etc is it still true today. I suspect it would also rest on what part of the body is injured. If it is the brain then can they say that one is 7 times more likely to survive such an impact to that particular body part.

As regards to road safety as I have previously asked has anyone got actual factual or statistical details of the accident benefits in towns that have had the 20 is plenty speed limits imposed. Some for over a decade. Surely there must be a town or city somewhere that can say without contradiction that it works on a road safety level.
Bob Craven Lancs

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20mph roll-out 'goes live' opposed to pre-recorded? What channel is it on and when?

It's one of those phrases that once had a specific meaning, but now, more often than not, are used inappropriately.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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