CLAIMS that the roll-out of 20mph speed limits across the Capital helps combat loneliness have been branded “ridiculous”.
Slower speeds will be ushered in across the vast majority of Edinburgh’s road network from early March – with only a few 30mph and 40mph streets exempt.
But the city council’s claim this will “boost local communities and combat loneliness” has come under fire from critics.
Nick Cook, Edinburgh’s Conservative transport spokesman, said the comments “risk trivialising” genuine efforts to tackle mental health problems.
He said: “We all must play our part in combating social isolation. However, for Edinburgh council to claim that its controversial 20mph scheme is now apparently a mechanism to combat loneliness is as disappointing as it is ridiculous.”
Lesley Macinnes, transport leader, said research had demonstrated the benefits of lower speed limits for improving “social connections”.
She said: “Social inclusion, amongst many other benefits, is frequently referenced by public health professionals as a reason for lowering speed limits, and is well-evidenced, particularly in a study by Appleyard, who found that people living on streets with heavy traffic had fewer social connections than those living on light-traffic streets.”