First speeding tickets issued in new 20mph zones

20mph zone. Picture; Jon Savage
20mph zone. Picture; Jon Savage
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Police have issued the first ever speeding tickets to drivers flouting Edinburgh’s new 20mph rules – to motorists who were travelling at exactly 30mph.

Officers confirmed two £100 fines were dished out yesterday, with almost 40 drivers formally warned in the past three days.

New markets on the Mound.

New markets on the Mound.

Both motorists were caught doing 30mph on Pleasance, in the south of the city centre.

The move marks the first time drivers have been fined for travelling within the Capital’s old speed limit.

A police spokeswoman said: “Police in Edinburgh issued two drivers with speeding tickets in the city centre on Friday, August 5.

“Officers have been carrying out activity in recent days to help raise awareness of the new changes, and have taken enforcement action where appropriate.”

It will take time for a change in driver behaviour, but police have to respond

Adam McVey

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Yesterday, we told how 25 drivers were stopped by police in two days for breaking the new speed rules, but all escaped with just a warning. Edinburgh’s 20mph roll-out is the first of its kind in Scotland, and will cover 80 per cent of the city’s streets by January 31, 2018.

Phase one was brought into force last weekend and covers the entire centre and rural west of the Capital. Phase two, covering the north of the city, will come into effect from February 28, 2017.

When the full scheme is in place, only key arterial routes – such as Ferry Road, St John’s Road and Telford Road – will be exempt.

Motorists caught flouting the new rules face £100 fines and three penalty points.

Councillor Nigel Bagshaw, Edinburgh Greens transport spokesman, has previously called for the scheme to be “actively enforced” by police in order to ensure its success.

He said: “I’m happy to see the police are actually enforcing the new regulations, because that’s what will make the system work most effectively.”

City chiefs say they will be relying on drivers choosing to change their own behaviour through a “major culture change and awareness campaign”, rather than cracking down on those who break the rules.

And Police Scotland confirmed officers would focus on carrying out enforcement in areas where speeding is regularly reported, as well as around schools.

But they said no extra officers would be deployed to enforce the new rules.

Councillor Adam McVey, the city’s transport vice-convener, said it would “take time” for motorists to change their behaviour, but insisted the police would take appropriate action. He said: “Police Scotland is supportive of improved road safety across the city and as part of this will enforce speed limits.

“Understandably, it will take time for a change in driver behaviour, but the police have committed to respond appropriately to any motorists observed speeding, taking whatever actions they think are required.”