No speeding tickets issued on first day of 20mph zones

The Reducer, Edinburgh's 20mph limit mascot. Picture: Scott Louden
The Reducer, Edinburgh's 20mph limit mascot. Picture: Scott Louden
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No speeding tickets were issued in 20mph zones as the new limits were rolled out across the Capital yesterday.

The entire centre and rural west of the Capital now falls within the reduced limit, which is intended to make roads safer.

The pioneering scheme will eventually cover 80 per cent of the city’s streets following a phased implementation spread out over the next two years. But on day one of the initiative, Police Scotland confirmed that no speeding offences had been logged by the day shift in the 20mph zone.

Those caught flouting the new rules face being slapped with £100 fines and three penalty points.

But concerns have already been raised over how the new rules will be enforced, with council bosses admitting they will rely heavily on drivers choosing to change their own behaviour.

City officials said there were three fixed-speed cameras within the 20mph roll-out area which could not be adjusted to monitor the slower speed. The admission comes after we revealed last year that some of the city’s older cameras would be unable to enforce the new limit.

But Stuart Hay, of walking charity Living Streets Scotland, welcomed the arrival of the new scheme.

He said: “Edinburgh has taken an important step forward in introducing the widespread 20mph limit. People on foot are much safer when surrounded by traffic going at slower speeds, especially those who are at the younger and older ends of our community.

“This is a long-term project and drivers’ habits may not change overnight. However, we hope the roll-out of 20mph is adapted to quickly by residents and visitors to the city, inspiring councils in the rest of Scotland to also take on the initiative.”

Edinburgh’s 20mph roll-out will be the first of its kind in Scotland, with the entire city set to be covered by January 2018.

Key arterial routes – including Ferry Road, St John’s Road and Telford Road – are among the few that will retain their 30 and 40mph limits. The £2.22 million proposals were initially met with a groundswell of opposition, with upwards of 2700 people signing a petition calling for the decision to be reversed.

But city-wide consultations have since reported positive feedback – amid some remaining concerns around increased congestion, road safety and longer journey times.

And despite high levels of support for the introduction of 20mph limits, there has been some high-profile opposition.

Lothian Buses previously warned imposing a 20mph speed limit across the Capital could lead to higher fares and poorer services.

john.connell@jpress.co.uk