IAM RoadSmart critical of blanket 20mph limit in Edinburgh

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £2.99.

IAM RoadSmart has said that it remains unconvinced of the value of the decision by the City of Edinburgh Council to impose a 20mph speed limit on the vast majority of the capital’s streets as of Sunday, July 31.

The multi-million pound scheme is the first of its kind in Scotland and will affect more than 80% of the city’s roads.

IAM RoadSmart, an independent road safety charity, stated that the proposals amounted to a city-wide limit that didn’t address specific problematic roads.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Policy and Research Director, said: “It’s a blanket approach. On some streets, 20mph is a speed that you might aspire to rather than need to limit yourself to. But there are others where it looks and feels safer to go over 20, and that’s potentially confusing because drivers take their cue from the environment.

“If you look at the evidence, what seems to work is measures like speed bumps and narrower roads. Covering whole areas in one 20mph limit and putting up some signs is a cheap way to do it. We’d rather see investment made in dealing with the streets where there will be the most benefit.”

Asked for comment by CBW, a CPT Scotland spokesman said: “While CPT is supportive of the council’s action to improve road safety, if the council also wishes to encourage modal shift from the car then maintaining punctuality and reliability of bus services is key.

“As such, the impact of the new speed limits on bus services should be monitored, particularly when school traffic resumes.

“CPT will continue to make the case that bus and coach should receive priority from Edinburgh’s congestion where appropriate.”