Edinburgh roads: City's last 40mph limits set to disappear this summer as 30mph signs go up

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The last remaining 40 mph speed limits on Edinburgh’s road network will be reduced to 30 mph this summer – two years later than was initially hoped. 

The council said new speed restrictions on some of the city’s busiest roads would be introduced within months, as it unveiled its road safety delivery plan for 2024 to 2025.  Lanark Road, Queensferry Road and Comiston Road are among 21 locations set for a 10 mph drop as part of the £300,000 safety scheme. 

Lanark Road is one of 21 roads in the Capital where the 40mph speed limit will be replaced by a new 30mph capLanark Road is one of 21 roads in the Capital where the 40mph speed limit will be replaced by a new 30mph cap
Lanark Road is one of 21 roads in the Capital where the 40mph speed limit will be replaced by a new 30mph cap

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It comes more than four years after the plans were first approved, with councillors agreeing to the changes in February 2020 when it was estimated they would take up to 18 months to take effect. However, a report noted at the time that delays “can occur” and the following month the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown was announced. 

With the statutory traffic regulation order (TRO) process now completed, a report has confirmed work to install new signage is expected to start in “summer 2024”. A detailed timeline has not yet been published. 

Transport bosses hope reducing the Capital’s remaining 40 mph roads to 30 mph will help to “create environments that encourage active travel” and “provide a road network that is safe for all road users”. 

The new limits will be introduced on: 

  • Lanark Road
  • West Approach Road
  • Comiston Road
  • Biggar Road
  • Riccarton Mains Road
  • Calder Road
  • Wester Hailes Road
  • Glasgow Road (between Gogar roundabout and Drum Brae roundabout)
  • Glasgow Road (between Newbridge roundabout and east end of Ratho Station)
  • Old Liston Road
  • Gogar Station Road
  • South Gyle Broadway
  • South Gyle Access
  • Queensferry Road
  • Hillhouse Road
  • Frogston Brae
  • Seafield Road East
  • Sir Harry Lauder Road
  • Milton Link
  • Milton Road
  • Milton Road East
  • Hawes Brae

Meanwhile, plans to roll out more 20 mph speed limits across Edinburgh are set to go before councillors later this year, with delivery expected to take up to two years.  Streets in this programme could include London Road, Ferry Road, Portobello Road and those with a ‘significant role for walking and cycling’ although locations haven’t been finalised as scoping work continues.

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However a survey with residents and market research found public opinion “appears to be divided on whether to further expand 20mph speed limits,” the council said last year. 

Results showed 57.7 per cent of over 4,000 questionnaire respondents and 31.36 per cent of those surveyed for the market research – which used a sample of 472 people ‘demographically representative’ of Edinburgh’s population – thought there should be no increase in the number of 20mph roads at all. In addition Lothian Buses expressed concerns about the impact the changes would have on bus journey times and timetabling.

A report said: “Officers are currently considering the scope of the additional speed limit reduction programme, will engage with bus operators, and plan to bring forward a more detailed programme later in the year. In line with the Committee decision, officers will also consider the promotion of 20mph speed limits adjacent to all schools in the city.”

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