Edinburgh consults on city-centre speed restrictions

Edinburgh council has today (August 28) asked for views from residents on its plans to implement a 20mph speed limit across areas of the city, in a bid to improve safety and reduce air pollution.

Speed restrictions are being planned for the city centre, the main shopping streets and some residential areas, following a pilot in South Edinburgh. The council claims that by encouraging safer driving, more residents will be encouraged to walk or cycle on city streets.

Edinburgh council is seeking to make busy shopping streets more pedestrian-friendly

Edinburgh council is seeking to make busy shopping streets more pedestrian-friendly

It is hoped that the measure will result in less traffic congestion, less noise as well as an ‘improved environment’ for local businesses alongside ‘more social interaction’ between residents.

Edinburgh council is currently seeking to reduce emissions across the city, and a report published by the local authority last week revealed that the city had seen a ‘positive trend’ in the levels of pollutants recorded around Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) around the Scottish capital (see airqualitynews.com story).

A citywide 20mph network is another measure that will contribute towards a reduction in emissions, and the consultation on the proposals runs until October 17. A calendar of roadshows and drop-in sessions is also being carried out to publicise the plans.

Culture

Commenting on the plans, councillor Lesley Hinds, Edinburgh’s transport convener, said: “This consultation is a very important step in our journey towards a culture change in the capital regarding speed limits and we want to make sure as many people as possible have had the chance to comment on the proposals.

“A couple of things its worth pointing out are that to reduce speeds, we’ll concentrate mainly on signage, although physical measures like pedestrian islands may be required on some residential streets where speeds don’t fall sufficiently with a signs and paint only approach.

“I also want to stress that speed humps will not be used on any main streets – i.e. those most likely to have bus services on them – which move to a 20mph limit. And the nature of the busier roads on which a 20mph limit is likely to be taken forward – the city centre, shopping streets and other roads with high numbers of pedestrians – means that impacts on bus journey times are expected to be very limited indeed.”

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