Police call off 20mph speed checks after one week

Police have not cracked down on speeding drivers in the 20mph aones. Picture: Jon Savage
Police have not cracked down on speeding drivers in the 20mph aones. Picture: Jon Savage
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POLICE road checks to catch motorists ignoring the Capital’s new 20mph limit were called off after just a week.

Officers with speed guns handed out two fines and 36 formal warnings in the 20mph zones during the first week after the speed cap was introduced in the city centre and rural west Edinburgh on July 31.

But the force confirmed no road checks had been carried out after that, saying they face “competing demands” for their attention.

A spokesman added that the number of fines and warnings issued remained unchanged.

A total of 24 warning notices were issued at the Pleasance and 12 in Lauriston Place up until August 6.

The two £100 fines were both handed out on August 5 during road checks in the Pleasance. And police said they could not comment on when they planned to carry out checks again.

This is despite the schools going back last week.

Conservative City Centre councillor Joanna Mowat said that if the new limit was going to succeed in cutting speed, it had to be enforced.

She said: “If you put measures in place you have to enforce them or all you are doing is embarking on an expensive PR exercise.

“People have to think ‘I’m going to be caught by the police’.

“If you introduce something and say it is going to make everything safer but there is no enforcement, you have to ask if this is an efficient use of public money.”

Police bosses said they were “committed” to making city roads safer, adding that they would not hesitate to pursue any motorist found to be breaking the rules.

Chief Inspector Mark Rennie, local area commander for South East Edinburgh, said: “We routinely carry out speed checks across the city and will take appropriate action towards anyone found to be driving in a reckless or dangerous manner.

“Edinburgh has a number of competing demands throughout the year, particularly during the Festival season, meaning officers must carry out road safety checks on a priority basis.

“I’m hopeful the public are now fully aware of the new 20mph zones and altering their driving behaviour accordingly.”

He said schools were being given appropriate attention.

“We are committed to making our local roads network safer places to travel and this includes promoting safe and responsible driving.

“As such we are looking to raise awareness of this important issue through our various social media channels in the coming days as well as carry out roadside speed checks on routes that have been identified as needing our attention, particularly around schools, in the interest of casualty reduction.”