Comment: ‘We must enforce policy very carefully’

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Everyone wants our roads to be safer, there is no question about it.

But the question that we really need to ask is how we best go about achieving that goal.

The 20mph zones which are set to be introduced across huge swathes of the city certainly have their place, but they are far from a panacea.

One of the biggest difficulties with them is an obvious one – enforcement. Trials in the south of the city where almost half of drivers were found to be ignoring the law in a police spot check show how ineffectual they can be. The police understandably have higher priorities on their limited resources than regularly patrolling every side street with a speed camera.

But while many drivers will feel free to go on breaking the speed limit with impunity – bus drivers will not. They will be all too aware that any member of the public could report them for speeding and their job would be on the line.

Without proper enforcement, we risk ending up with a two-tier system, where buses are compelled to follow the rules, but private 
motorists aren’t.

That would go a long way to undermining the success of Lothian Buses which has attracted many new passengers over the years on the basis that the bus is faster than the car, thanks to greenways and so on.

A lot of careful thought needs to be put into how the Capital’s 20mph speed limit will operate or we could end up with all the downsides and few of the benefits.

Fitting tribute

THe Godfather of Snooker Bert Demarco did so much to promote the sport in the Capital – and in doing so helped shape the youth of thousands of sports 
enthusiasts.

It is great to see a fitting tribute to one of our sporting greats – and entirely fitting that he will continue to gaze down on the green baize.