20mph limit bid to put brakes on park drivers

The plan aims to discourage drivers using the park as a regular thoroughfare
The plan aims to discourage drivers using the park as a regular thoroughfare
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A NEW 20mph zone throughout Holyrood Park has been proposed in an attempt to prevent gridlock in Duddingston Village.

Councillors have been urged to support plans to cut the speed limit to put drivers off using the thoroughfare.

The move followed a study which found more than 7000 vehicles use the narrow Old Church Lane every weekday.

Earlier this year residents in the village said increasing numbers of vehicles had led to road safety concerns and a rising number of road rage incidents.

The Duddingston Village Conservation Society commissioned traffic consultant WA Fairhurst, which found that speeds were excessive in both the village and Holyrood Park. On Holyrood Park Low Road – a 30mph zone – around 15 per cent of drivers exceeded 40mph.

Currently a short section of the eastern side of Holyrood Park road is 20mph, and if councillors on the transport committee approve the plans on Tuesday the administration will ask Historic Scotland to introduce that limit throughout the park.

Councillor Gary Peacock, who led the working group on the project, said: “There are two problems here, one being the congestion in Duddingston Village and the other being the excessive speed at which vehicles travel through Holyrood Park.

“Although we can’t completely reduce traffic we’ll try to get Historic Scotland to reduce the speed limit in the park.

“Drivers coming from the east tend to cut through the park but obviously Duddingston Village at the other end isn’t very suitable, with its cobbles, narrow lanes, parked cars.”

Cllr Peacock added: “It is a difficult issue because we can’t stop people using Duddingston Village because it would put too much pressure on other routes, but we can try and make to situation better and it strikes the right balance, I think.”

Other proposals include allowing a public consultation on traffic calming measures in Duddingston Village, undertaking a travel action plan with Historic Scotland and upgrading links to the park.

Councillor Gordon Mackenzie, transport convenor, said the proposed reduction in speed in Holyrood Park would make the route safer and more attractive for recreation.

He added: “Excessive speed is a problem generally, particularly at those sorts of speeds [40mph] the number of people killed and injured is quite high, whereas you get down to under 30mph it reaches much lower levels. The park is also a lovely place for recreation and we want to see more people walking and cycling and the speed is an issue which could prevent that.”