20mph limit review call for Edinburgh over low fine numbers

Fewer than two drivers a week have been fined for speeding since the citywide 20mph zones were rolled out across Edinburgh, it has emerged.

Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 8:37 am
Edinburgh Council's 20mph mascot The Reducer is joined at Meadowbank by Hibs mascot Sunshine and Hearts mascot Jock to promote the extension of 20mph speed limits, with PC Ben Wray. Picture: Greg Macvean

Figures from Police Scotland found that only 31 drivers were handed speeding tickets for breaching 20mph limits between 5 March and 30 June.

The final phase of the 20mph roll-out went live in south Edinburgh in March. It completed the two year implementation which started in the west and centre of the capital back in 2016.

Councillors have called into question the effective enforcement of the policy.

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Liberal Democrat Cllr Kevin Lang wants the council to give more support to the police for enforcement of 20mph zones.

He said: “The administration was happy to spend money on road signs and a red and yellow costume for its ‘Enforcer’ mascot. Yet it seems that has not been matched by money to enforce the new limits.

“The roll-out of 20mph across the city certainly sparked strong opinions on both sides of the argument. However, people will rightly ask why so much effort went into introducing the limits but so little resource appears to have been given to the police to help enforce the new policy.”

Conservatives at City Chambers want the administration to consider reviewing its 20mph zone policy. The party’s transport spokesman, Cllr Nick Cook, said: “These figures again demonstrate that the council’s lazy one-size-fits-all approach to road safety is doing little to make our streets safer.

“The council should review the whole scheme without delay to ensure 20mph limits are targeted where most needed, for maximum effect.”

The council believes the 20mph policy has been popular and improved safety for people across the city.

Cllr Lesley Macinnes, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “Calmer speeds are now the norm across much of Edinburgh and we know that communities are appreciating the benefits they bring, such as safer, quieter and more pleasant streets which are much more attractive for walking and cycling. In fact, we have had requests for more streets to be included in the scheme.

“We continue to work very closely with Police Scotland to raise awareness of the new legal limits, carrying out joint education work and sharing feedback from residents with them so that they can prioritise their enforcement activity where it is most needed.”

No records of drivers stopped by officers and issued with a warning are available from Police Scotland.

Superintendent Mark Rennie said: “Road safety is a priority for police in Edinburgh, and we are continuing to work with the City of Edinburgh Council to raise awareness of the 20mph zones.

“We will continue to carry out proactive speed checks to enforce the limits where operational demands allow, with priority being given to new zones, areas around schools, and locations where there have been previous collisions where speed was a factor.”