20mph: Final countdown as Edinburgh prepares for new limit

The new stage of the 20mph zones are to launch in the Capital this month. Picture; SWNS
The new stage of the 20mph zones are to launch in the Capital this month. Picture; SWNS
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ThE signs are going up and the days are counting down – it’s nearly time for the next installment of 20mph.

Motorists have just over a week until they will be required to drive at the slower speed limit, which is set to come into force across a vast swathe of the Capital next Tuesday.

The rollout marks the second phase of the 20mph scheme, which was first introduced to roads in the the city centre and parts of rural west Edinburgh on July 31 last year.

Council chiefs have argued the city-wide initiative will keep more people safe, adding a pilot scheme in 2012 also encouraged more people to get out on their bikes or public transport.

Lesley Hinds, transport leader at the city council, said: “We are now counting down to the launch of phase two of the 20mph roll-out, as I’m sure people are aware from the appearance of signs and lines around the city.

“As with phase one, we will continue working closely with the police and the community to raise awareness of the change, and to ensure it’s adhered to.”

She continued: “I appreciate that there are differing views about 20mph limits, but we know the many benefits its introduction on residential, city centre and shopping streets can bring to the local environment, sense of place and, most importantly, road safety.

“Now we are hearing wider calls for default 20mph zones across the country and I hope this initiative will serve as an example for any town or city looking to do the same.”

The second phase of the 20mph roll-out will see it expanding over a number of residential and shopping streets from Leith to Morningside.

Drivers caught speeding will face the threat of £100 fines and three penalty points.

Its arrival comes after signs appearing to signify the change started being installed across the Capital, with some motorists saying they had been left confused as to what speed they should be travelling.

Some arterial roads will retain their 30 or 40mph limits, leading to claims from some that the new signs were “confusing” and “poorly laid out”.

One taxi driver pointed out there was at least one road in the city which had a 20mph and 30mph sign side-by-side.

However, the city council said the switchover had been publicised well in advance and said anyone left in doubt could consult a map on their website detailing the correct speed for different roads.

And it isn’t just drivers in the Capital who will soon be slowing down after it was announced a number of towns in East Lothian are also set to become 20mph zones.

The slower speed limit will be made permanent across much of North Berwick, Tranent and Cockenzie after experiments were hailed a success by cabinet members at East Lothian Council.

An 18-month trial will also take place in Dunbar, with a view to introducing a permanent 20mph limit across much of the town.

florence.snead@jpress.co.uk