Anti-20mph camp gears up for battle

20mph zones are to be implemented on 80 per cent of the city's roads. Picture: Cate Gillon
20mph zones are to be implemented on 80 per cent of the city's roads. Picture: Cate Gillon
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CAMPAIGNERS battling plans to impose a 20mph speed limit on most of Edinburgh’s roads have vowed “the fight is not over”.

The controversial council proposals, set to be rolled out this summer at a cost of £2.22 million, will affect around 80 per cent of the Capital’s road network.

But critics have branded the scheme “ridiculous” and called on supporters to rally behind a fresh drive to combat the move.

SEE ALSO: Your say on the 20mph plan

Local businessman Grant MacCusker, founder of the “Say No to 20mph” Facebook campaign, said there were even plans to lodge a motion in the Scottish Parliament in a bid to get MSPs to intervene.

He said: “It’s about fighting it. The advertising [of the plan] was not sufficient.

It’s about fighting it. The advertising [of the plan] was not sufficient. The council never actually asked the public.

Grant MacCusker

“The council never actually asked the public.”

A message on the campaign’s Facebook page last night said a new petition was being set up, adding: “We need your support and more than ever before.”

The 20mph roll-out is the first of its kind in Scotland and will be implemented in six stages over 24 months – starting with the city centre this summer.

But key arterial routes in the suburbs – including Ferry Road, St John’s Road and Telford Road – will keep their current limits.

Despite an initial groundswell of opposition to the plans, the council’s latest consultation received only 54 objections.

Yesterday, business leaders argued the move could force more drivers to use out-of-town shopping centres.

Gordon Henderson, senior development manager of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The worry is this will slow down the whole city and make it very difficult for businesses to get around and do their job.

“You have to keep the city moving.

“The roads are full of potholes yet Edinburgh City Council takes more in parking revenue than any other council in Scotland, but reinvests a very small proportion. Motorists are often seen as a cash cow.”

Jerry Stewart, co-director of Eagle Couriers – Scotland’s largest independent courier firm – said the effect on businesses’ day-to-day workings would be unclear until the roll-out.

He said: “If they reduce the speed limit to 20mph, then obviously it’s going to have an impact. It’s going to make journeys that little bit longer. It will affect everybody.

“It will be a bit of a pester for us. I don’t know what affect it will have on the city centre – sometimes you can’t go any faster than 20mph anyway.

“To be quite honest, I don’t see the point. Obviously road safety is important to us. Around schools and hospitals – I don’t have a problem with that. I can make sense of that.”

But Mr Stewart said the new limit might ease congestion in parts of the city centre.