East Edinburgh is to be included in Phase 2 of the introduction of the 20mph speed limits for residential and shopping streets starting from December.
Following Phase 1 which saw the introduction of slower speeds in the city centre and rural west of Edinburgh at the end of July 2016, the second stage of the citywide scheme consists of two zones, namely Zone 2 (North) and Zone 3 (South Central / East). It is the largest construction phase in the overall scheme.
Signs and lines advertising the new 20mph limits in these zones will be installed over the next few months, ahead of the slower speed limit coming into force from 28 February 2017.
Large 20mph signs will mark the entrance and exit of a 20mph area where the speed limit is changing. These will be supplemented by smaller repeater signs or road markings with speed limit roundels.
Councillors approved a new speed limit network for Edinburgh at the Transport and Environment Committee on 13 January 2015, following extensive public consultation with local communities, businesses and other stakeholders.
In becoming Scotland’s first 20mph city, Edinburgh follows a growing number of European and UK cities (eg Bristol, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cambridge and much of inner London) in introducing slower speeds.
While retaining a network of arterial routes at 30mph and 40mph, the project extends 20mph speed limits to approximately 80% of Edinburgh’s streets. Around 50% of the Capital’s roads already had a 20mph limit prior to the rollout starting in the summer.
Slower speeds bring many benefits to places and people. They help to reduce the risk and severity of collisions, encourage people to walk and cycle and spend more time in an area, boosting trade for local businesses.
The reduced speed makes it easier to cross roads, particularly for children and older people.
Police Scotland are enforcing the new legal limits already in place in Zone 1. Since this zone went live on 31 July, police have carried out a minimum of 21 speed checks and issued tickets or warnings to at least three drivers during each check (at least 68 warnings and 13 tickets).
To mark the next stage of the rollout, Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Hinds was joined yesterday by representatives from NHS Lothian and Royal Mail, both of which organisations have pledged their full backing for slower speeds in the Capital.
NHS Lothian and Royal Mail vehicles are displaying 20mph campaign stickers to demonstrate their support as they journey around Edinburgh.
Cllr Lesley Hinds said: “We’re now almost exactly four months into our 18-month rollout of 20mph to residential and shopping streets across Edinburgh. Initial feedback from our ongoing monitoring and research suggests high levels of awareness about the scheme and our task as the project moves on to the next stage is to keep up that momentum with our communications campaign, making sure residents and visitors know where the new limits will apply and understand the reasons for introducing slower speeds in the Capital.”
Cllr McVey added: “Police Scotland will continue to enforce the new limits as the rollout continues, working with the Council and local communities to identify which streets would most benefit from targeted enforcement.”
Chief Inspector Mark Rennie, South East Area Commander, said: “Proactive speeding checks will be conducted within the new zones, with warnings and fines given as appropriate. We’ll continue to work with the City of Edinburgh Council to raise awareness of the 20mph zones and enforce the new limits, where operational demands allow.”
Kenny McKenzie, Royal Mail Edinburgh Collections Manager, said: “Royal Mail is pleased to be supporting the 20mph speed limit campaign. We hope that by displaying these stickers our vehicles can help to raise awareness.”
George Curley, Director of Operations – Facilities, NHS Lothian, said: “We understand the benefits that reducing the speed limit can bring and displaying the logo on our vans acts as a reminder to both our staff and the wider public. We are delighted to be able to support the Council and other partners in raising awareness of the new speed limit as it is rolled out.”
The Council’s decision to implement the new speed limit citywide, following extensive public consultation, was outlined in its 2014-2019 Local Transport Strategy.
The rollout of 20mph speed limits across Edinburgh is being carried out in phases as follows:
City Centre and Rural West (South Queensferry, Kirkliston, Ratho, Currie and Balerno). Speed limit effective from 31 July 2016
North. Speed limit applies from 28 February 2017
South Central/East. Speed limit applies from 28 February 2017
North West. Speed limit applies from 31 July 2017
West. Speed limit applies from 31 July 2017
South. Speed limit applies from 31 January 2018