New 20mph limit comes into force in South Central Edinburgh
Pupils from Sciennes and Gillespie’s primary schools tested out a new 20mph Limit Pilot in South Central Edinburgh today (23 March 2012) with a route walk between their two schools.
The 20mph Limit Pilot is one of a series of Council-led road safety initiatives being delivered by the Streets Ahead Road Safety Partnership, which works to make the City's neighbourhoods safer and more pleasant places to live.
The start of the new pilot follows extensive local public consultation, which found that more than 75% of respondents supported the measure.
Five schools in the area, including Gillespie's and Sciennes primaries, are currently taking part in a campaign called 'Just give me a minute', aimed at urging family and friends who drive to make a pledge to slow down to 20mph in the new zone.
Pupils from participating schools will campaign to collect the highest number of signed pledge cards in support of this pilot over the next few months.
Marshall Poulton, Head of Transport, said: "Making Edinburgh's roads safe for everyone is crucial. Evidence suggests 20mph limits make streets safer and more attractive for cycling and walking as well as reducing collisions. In addition, more people walking or cycling is good for health, reducing congestion and improving the environment.
"This campaign will rely heavily on community support in order to make the 20mph limit pilot work as there are no traffic calming measures being implemented. This is a first in Scotland, and we hope that by getting the schoolchildren involved as champions it will send out a powerful message to drivers and appeal to their sense of responsibility for their community."
Prior to the introduction of the 20mph speed limit, the Council consulted widely with residents, and over 75% of those taking part in the consultation gave their overwhelming support for it.
John Palmer, from Grange/Prestonfield Community Council said: "As local residents we are pleased to welcome this pilot and its promise to make our streets safer and more pleasant for all, families, children, older people, to walk and cycle in. We would have liked to see all roads included in the zone, but now that we've got all these new signs up we hope drivers will take notice and pledge to keep within the limits."
Where 20mph zones with traffic calming have been introduced in other areas of the city, road casualties have reduced by between 30% and 50%.
Superintendent David Carradice said: "Lothian and Borders Police is committed to reducing casualty numbers on the roads, and we are happy to support the City of Edinburgh Council in this initiative.
"Any road safety measure which has the potential to reduce casualties is to be welcomed, and we expect people to reduce their speed accordingly in the new zones."
Pupils have also been involved in production of a radio advert for the campaign and feature in the campaign's publicity including bus and bus shelter advertising.
If the 20mph pilot in South Edinburgh is a success, similar zones could be introduced citywide