Leader comment: Are the 20mph zones working?

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It’s unlikely to convince the critics but today’s figures showing a significant drop in the number injured in accidents on Edinburgh roads will be seized upon as evidence that the 20mph limit is working.

There are caveats to the data - it merely covers the last three months of the year compared to the same period in 2016, and only an in depth study can be hailed as real evidence.

But police do admit that, while the lower limit is not always being adhered to, it has “modified driver behaviour” and generally made people more careful.

Temporary Chief Superintendent, Richard Thomas, tells us the limit has had a “calming effect” on motorists - though we suspect some may argue with that.

A near 25 per cent drop in people being injured on the roads is good news whatever though, as is the even bigger percentage decline in the most serious accidents. We look forward to seeing the city council’s own evaluation of the 20mph zones, including whether any roads are deemed safe enough to boost back to 30mph. Campaigners say over time there will be an even greater decrease in the accident rate as a result of 20mph, along with an increase in walking and cycling.

For now, no doubt, the debate is sure to continue.