Life in the slow lane: Readers react to Edinburgh's 20mph zones

As the dust settles on the second phase of 20mph, it's fair to say the latest rollout has proved quite a talking point.

Saturday, 18th March 2017, 8:39 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:22 am
Phase two of the rollout happened in February. Picture: Neil Hanna

Since its arrival on February 28 road users across Edinburgh have been adjusting to the new limit and its implications for day-to-day travel.

The council-led scheme is costing £2.2 million to implement and is set to be fully rolled out by January next year.

With almost three weeks of the rollout now under way, the News has caught up with its readers panel to find out how they think it’s gone.

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The initiative has attracted its fair share of criticism since phase one was introduced last July in parts of the city centre and rural west.

But council chiefs have staunchly defended their plans, saying 20mph will reduce accidents and keep people safer when out on the roads.

It may still be early days but it’s clear from our readers that the new zones are starting to have an impact, with reports of slower-moving traffic and a sense of increased security.

However, when it comes to bedding in, they all share the view that only with time will drivers fully come round to the 20mph way of thinking.

Their comments come just days after news emerged from Manchester that the city would be scrapping its 20mph scheme after council chiefs were forced to admit it had made little difference to people’s speed.

City leaders in Edinburgh have been urged to learn from their Manchester counterparts and study what happened as they press ahead with bringing 20mph to over three-quarters of the Capital’s streets.

And last week the News reported drivers had been issued with the first fines under the latest phase.

A total of 39 warnings and fines were dished out during phase two’s first week, with a further two motorists also reported for driving at what was described as “excessive speed”.

Police Scotland has previously warned it will be carrying out “proactive” checks across the Capital to ensure driver stick to the 20mph limit.

Drivers caught flouting the limit face the threat of £100 fines and three penalty points and city transport leader Councillor Lesley Hinds said the figure showed enforcement was being taken seriously.

She said: “Police are fully supportive of the move to slower speeds on Edinburgh’s residential, shopping and city centre streets and are working closely with us to raise awareness.

“These warnings and reports are a clear sign that the 20mph limit is being enforced and that drivers must continue to keep their speeds down now that new limits are live.”