Kicking off phase two of Edinburgh's 20mph rollout
Mascots from Hibs and Hearts joined 20mph champion The Reducer and officers from Police Scotland on the track at Meadowbank Sports Centre today to mark the kick-off of Phase 2 of 20mph in Edinburgh.
From today, many roads across North and South Central / East Edinburgh - from Granton to Portobello, Duddingston to Morningside - now have a 20mph limit as the 18-month project moves to its second phase.
To coincide with today's 'go live' of Phase 2, Historic Environment Scotland have today introduced a 20mph limit throughout Holyrood Park.
While many cities in the UK, Europe and beyond have already brought in 20mph (or 30km), Edinburgh is the first city in Scotland to roll out 20mph limits in this way, with many other areas, including East Lothian, keen to bring in slower speeds.
The first zone went live in the city centre and rural west Edinburgh on 31 July 2016, with a high profile awareness campaign ongoing to make sure residents and visitors know which streets have a new lowered limit and which have been retained at 30mph or 40mph.
Police Scotland are enforcing the new legal limits already in place in Zone 1. Since this zone went live on 31 July, 18 people have either been charged, issued a fixed penalty ticket or reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
Councillors approved a new speed limit network for Edinburgh at the Transport and Environment Committee on 13 January 2015, following extensive public consultation with local communities, businesses and other stakeholders.
While retaining a network of arterial routes at 30mph and 40mph, the project extends 20mph speed limits to approximately 80% of Edinburgh’s streets. Around 50% of the Capital's roads already had a 20mph limit prior to the rollout starting in the summer.
Slower speeds bring many benefits to places and people. They help to reduce the risk and severity of collisions, encourage people to walk and cycle and spend more time in an area.
The reduced speed makes it easier to cross roads, particularly for children and older people.
Councillor Lesley Hinds said:
"We're bringing in 20mph limits for city centre, residential and shopping streets in Edinburgh after in-depth public consultation showed support for slower speeds in the Capital. While understandably it's taken a bit of time for everyone to get used to the new limits, public opinion is still clearly very much in favour, as evidenced by the recent poll in a local newspaper showing more than two thirds of respondents backing 20mph.
"The 30mph default limit in the UK dates all the way back to the 1930s, when there were far fewer vehicles on our roads. Like Edinburgh, swathes of cities and towns across the UK, Europe and beyond are now embracing 20mph - or 30kmph - as the optimum speed limit for their communities, encouraging active travel, improving road safety and generally making places more attractive to spend time in."
Chief Inspector Mark Rennie of Police Scotland said:
"Casualty reduction on our roads remains a priority in Edinburgh and we continue to work alongside our relevant partners to promote safe and responsible driving practices, including adhering to speed limits.
"Since the launch of 20mph speed zones in the Capital, officers have monitored these roads and taken appropriate action whenever motorists were observed travelling at excessive speeds.
"In particular, we have focussed our attention on the areas around schools and this will continue as more 20mph zones are rolled out across the city.
"Whenever we are alerted to areas where the speed limit is not being observed we will respond accordingly with the appropriate resources."
A Hibernian spokesperson said:
“We are pleased to back the 20mph for Edinburgh campaign. With the next wave of 20mph streets now coming into effect we hope that it will make getting around the city safer for residents and visitors of all ages.”
A spokesperson for Heart of Midlothian said:
“We’re happy to be supporting Edinburgh’s 20mph campaign. Gorgie is one of the areas that will have new 20mph streets in this next phase and we hope that our football fans and residents alike will appreciate this as a positive change to the area.”
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said:
“We encourage all local authorities in Scotland to introduce 20mph zones or limits in residential areas and areas of towns and cities with a high volume of pedestrians and cyclists where appropriate, as can be seen in Edinburgh and in line with the Scottish Government’s 2015 Good Practice Guide on 20mph Speed Restrictions.
“The Scottish Government is committed, through Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020, to achieving safer road travel in Scotland and protecting vulnerable road users such as children, pedestrians and pedal cyclists.
“We welcome Edinburgh’s latest rollout of 20mph limits across the city, which ties in with our current In Town, Slow Down campaign highlighting the real implications of speeding on Scotland’s built-up roads, and reminding people that driving too fast for the conditions can have serious consequences.”
Martin Gray, Ranger and Visitor Services Manager at Historic Environment Scotland, who manage Holyrood Park, said:
“This second phase rollout of the citywide 20mph limit signals the introduction of slower speeds for all remaining roads within the Holyrood Park area. We’ve been working with partners at The City of Edinburgh Council and Police Scotland towards this shared aim for some time and we’re pleased that from today all routes through and around the park will be a 20mph zone.
“As a unique urban space within the city this initiative strengthens our existing work towards ensuring safe access and improved amenity for all park users.”