Electric cars allowed to go 30 in Edinburgh’s 20 zones

An electric car

An electric car

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DRIVERS of electric cars are to be allowed to break Edinburgh’s new 20mph limits without fear of being landed with a £100 speeding fine.

Owners of the green vehicles will be granted the exemption after complaining that being forced to travel at low speed uses up their battery power twice as fast.

This story is an April Fool! Just a bit of fun, did you fall for it? Check the police inspector’s name

Transport chiefs admitted they had not considered the problem when developing plans for the go-slow zones and said they had “acted quickly” to address the concerns.

Many of the city council’s own fleet is electric-powered and this is thought to have played a part in the decision.

However, the move is sure to anger drivers of petrol and diesel vehicles who will be stuck trundling along at 20mph while environmentally-friendly vehicles speed ahead.

The fact that electric car drivers are seen as being “responsible motorists” due to their decision to buy a green vehicle is understood to have influenced the move.

One city transport source said that driverless vehicles with advanced collision detection software may also be excluded from the limit in future.

“No-one will admit this in public but the fact is that people who drive electric vehicles have shown they are civic-minded and proved they can be trusted to behave responsibly,” she added.

“That includes the council’s own highly-skilled drivers. There is a whole fleet of electric vehicles which drive around the city helping ensure Scotland’s capital runs efficiently.

“They can’t be going back to base every hour or two for a charge.”

A city council spokesman said the measure to exempt electric vehicles would be formally announced today, April 1, and would be introduced in the next few weeks but kept under review.

“Once we order some new signs, all electric vehicles will be allowed to travel at 30mph in Edinburgh’s 20mph zones.

“This move is in response to evidence that such vehicles are more efficient at higher speeds and fits with our goal of making Edinburgh a sustainable and environmentally responsible city.

“The police are fully supportive of the measure and have pledged to enforce it just as enthusiastically as they have been doing in the rest of the city so far.”

Police Scotland Inspector Ally Raifspood said he did not envisage any electric vehicles being stopped as such motorists do not tend to attract the attention of officers.

Cab drivers were among those to express their disgust, however.

One said: “It is outrageous. How can the council have one rule for electric cars and another for normal people? It shows this scheme up for what it is – a blatant attack on the rights of the gas-guzzler.”

Owners of electric cars will first have to register their vehicles before they are permitted to drive at 30mph in the new zones. Once they sign up, they will be issued with a large sticker featuring 20mph mascot The Reducer to be displayed in their windscreen.

This story is an April Fool! Just a bit of fun, did you fall for it? Check the police inspector’s name