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Scots councils voice concern on 20mph Bill

SPEED LIMITS

06 July 2018
 

Scottish local government has voiced concerns about a proposed Bill to make 20mph the default speed limit on roads in built-up areas. 

Green MSP Mark Ruskell’s proposed Restricted Roads (20mph Limit) (Scotland) Bill was discussed at the environment and economy board of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) last month. 

Asked about the outcome of the meeting, a COSLA spokesman told LTT this week: “COSLA supports the aspirations of the Bill but has some concerns regarding how it would be implemented, how this would effect local democracy, and how this would be financed, and would like reassurance that a ‘one size fits all’ solution would not be used across the country.

“It was agreed that a further report will be brought to the September board meeting, which would include the costings provided by SCOTS [the Society of Chief Officers for Transportation in Scotland].”

COSLA had been due to discuss the Bill at a meeting in March, which was cancelled because of bad weather (LTT 16 Mar). The officer report to that meeting stated: “In general terms it seems sensible for COSLA to set out an initially positive position towards the proposed Bill, recognising that much detail must be established before we can offer more concrete support.” 

After reading the March report, Scottish Borders Council wrote to COSLA to voice reservations about the Bill. The council said the Bill did not recognise the circumstances of rural areas, the financial implications for councils, or the potential for sign clutter. ?“Research suggests that without physical accompanying measures the reduction in speed from changing 30 mph limits to 20mph will be minimal,” the council added. 

Scottish Borders has told Ruskell: “As classified through routes are intended to remain as 30mph, every single street off these will require to be signed with 20mph / 30mph signs back- to-back at enormous resource and significant cost to local authorities. This fact seems to have been totally missed by the proposal.  

“If 20mph became the default, all routes that remain at 30mph would [presumably] require to have repeater signs erected at regular intervals,” it added.

 
 
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