Space for People: 20mph zones could become permanent across East Lothian, despite 3/4 residents saying drivers ignore them

20mph speed limits, introduced as part of a Spaces for People initiative in towns and villages across East Lothian, could now be made permanent.

East Lothian Council’s Labour administration cabinet is being asked to decide whether to keep the the limits and introduce a new hierarchy of speed restrictions on its roads or return to pre-pandemic rules.

A new speed limit policy also proposes introducing Quiet Roads in the county with signs urging drivers to go slower on lanes which are being used by pedestrians and cyclists.

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The new policy follows a survey of residents last year which the council says saw six out of ten people say they believed the lower speed limits have made it safer for children, with more than half keen to keep them in some if not all places.

20mph speed limits introduced as part of a Spaces for People initiative in towns and villages across East Lothian could now be made permanent.

But it also found 73% of residents said drivers ignored the speed limits and more than half said drivers took more risks and were frustrated by the slower speeds, with 46% adding that there is no enforcement on the road.

However, 36% of people questioned said they believed drivers paid more attention to other road users and were less likely to overtake cyclists with a third adding they found it easier to cross roads.

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East Lothian's temporary 20mph speed limit could be here to stay

The proposed hierarchy of speeds in East Lothian’s towns would see 40mph on roads on the outskirts with only a few buildings lining them, with 30mph roads described as streets where vehicles are given a higher priority than the “place function”.

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Now 20mph areas will be introduced in residential streets or those with a high pedestrian or cyclist movement such as town centres or around schools.

The policy also covers ways for communities to apply for changes to speed limits in their areas.

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And it introduces the designation of popular walking areas as Quiet Road.

It says: “Quiet Roads are increasingly being implemented on rural roads across Scotland where there may be high levels of use by pedestrians, cyclists orequestrians.

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“The presence of vulnerable road users in the carriageway is highlighted to drivers through the use of signage to promote a shared environment.

“Where appropriate, East Lothian Council will consider the introduction of Quiet Roads across its network to develop safer movements for vulnerable road users.”

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