Hinds: ‘a very important step in our journey towards a culture change in the Capital’
A consultation is now live to help draw up plans for new 20mph speed limits across the Capital. Members of the public are encouraged to take part in the consultation via the Council’s website or by attending one of the planned public meetings, roadshows and drop-in sessions being held across the City over the coming weeks.
The consultation at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/20mph asks for feedback on a map of proposed 20mph limit streets.
Following a successful pilot in South Edinburgh, a 20 mph speed limit is now proposed for the City Centre, main shopping streets and residential areas.
Recent market research and consultation in Edinburgh has shown strong support for more extensive 20mph limits. The Edinburgh People’s Survey in 2012 showed a sizeable majority in favour of 20mph limits in residential areas, shopping streets and the City Centre. And 67 per cent of people supported a 20mph limit for all city centre streets, while just five per cent opposed such a limit, with 29 per cent uncertain.
One of the key priorities of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Local Transport Strategy 2014-2019, approved earlier this year, is to consult on detailed proposals for the citywide 20mph network. Consulting “with a view to extending the current 20mph traffic zones” is also one of the Capital Coalition’s pledges.
20mph speed limits encourage more considerate driving, leading to safer streets for all road users, including motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. The lower speeds reduce the risk and severity of road collisions.
Reducing traffic speed helps make people feel more confident about being on their local streets and helps children and elderly people to travel independently and safely. Calmer road speeds also help to make walking and cycling more attractive options, contributing to less traffic congestion, better health, less noise, more social interaction, an improved environment for local businesses and stronger communities.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, 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 it’s 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 – ie 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.”
Councillor Adam McVey, Vice Transport Convener, said: “Lower speeds in residential areas and shopping streets are not just good for safety and environmental reasons. Slower traffic makes streets more attractive to residents, pedestrians, cyclists and children, improves the environment for business and enhances quality of life. Don’t miss your opportunity to help us draw up the map of 20mph streets – check out the consultation online, visit the public exhibition or drop in to one of our many information sessions and have your say.”
The public consultation closes on Friday 17 October 2014.
As well as the roadshows, public meetings and drop-in events, an exhibition of the proposals will be the Central Library, George IV Bridge from 1 – 14 September.
Maps of the proposals will also be available in the following local libraries from 1 September: Piershill, Northfield, Gilmerton, Morningside, Wester Hailes, Drumbrae Hub, McDonald Road and Muirhouse.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
A series of drop-in sessions and public meetings has been organised through the Neighbourhood Partnerships. Council officers will be available at these events to answer questions.
Drop-in session on Tuesday 26 August, 4.30 to 6.30pm, Drumbrae Library Hub followed by a presentation on 20mph proposals at the Western
Neighbourhood Partnership Meeting at 7pm.
Drop-in session on Monday 8 September, 2 to 4 pm, South Queensferry Community Education Centre, Kirkliston Road.
All-day roadshow on Sunday 21 September at Gyle Shopping Centre, Gyle Avenue.
Drop-in session on Wednesday 3 September, 10am to 1pm, North Edinburgh Local Office.
Drop-in session on Thursday 18 September, 2 to 4pm, Edgar Hall, Stenhouse St Aidan’s Parish Church.
Drop-in session on Monday 22 September, 2 to 4pm in Oxgangs Library.
Public meeting on Wednesday 10 September, 7pm, Portobello Town Hall.
Public meeting on Tuesday 16 September, 7pm, City Chambers.
Roadshow on Thursday 25 September, 10 – 1pm, St James Shopping Centre.
Public meeting on Tuesday 3 September, 7pm, City Chambers.
Drop-in session on Wednesday 24 September, 6pm, Business Centre, McDonald Road Library.