Edinburgh road accidents: Action plan aims to halve serious injuries by 2030

Edinburgh council plans over 100 measures to cut accidents

Ambitious plans to reduce the number of road accidents in which people are seriously injured in Edinburgh by 50 per cent by 2030 are set to be approved this week.

And more than 100 measures to help achieve the target, from new pedestrian crossings to extended 20mph limits, are included in the city council’s new road safety action plan. Figures show that in 2021 there were a total of 521 road accidents resulting in injury in the Capital, three of them fatal and 153 involving serious injuries. Transport convener Scott Arthur said: “Over the last few years the number of people killed or seriously injured in road collisions in Edinburgh has been on a downward trend, but more needs to be done to make the city’s streets safer for all road users.” He said the target was for zero fatalities and a 50 per cent reduction in the number of accidents by 2030.

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The target for reducing serious injuries to children and young people is even higher, at 60 per cent. Cllr Arthur said there would be a focus on cutting the number of accidents on trips to and from school and in the areas around schools. He said the council wanted, as far as possible, to have no vehicle access immediately around schools. “Obviously for some schools that won't work because of where they are – they might be on a really busy road or on a bus route – so there might be other things we need to think about there. But as a default that should be our aspiration.”

The 20mph limit will be extended to more streets as part of the new road safety action plan to cut the number of accidents. Picture: Greg Macvean.

The action plan also sets a 70 per cent target for the reduction in road users aged 18 to 24 seriously injured; 40 per cent for pedestrians; 30 per cent for cyclists and motorcyclists; and 20 per cent for road users aged 65 and over. All the targets in the Edinburgh action plan match or exceed national targets.

Cllr Arthur said: “The scale of the reduction we're aiming for means we can't any longer see accidents as just something that happens and the price we have to pay for having a busy road network. It's more about being much more interventionist. There are well over 100 schemes that we'll deliver by the end of 2024. They will include pedestrian crossings, places where we've investigated accidents and we think we need to make physical changes to junctions, around 80 streets where we're going to put in measures to reduce the speed of vehicles and also of course increasing the number of streets with 20mph limits."

He said the council would be working with the police to bring down accident numbers. "There's a lot of ambition here so we can't do it alone. We'll be focusing on advice to the public and structural changes we can make, but the police will also be looking at enforcement issues. Speed is big factor with a lot of accidents.”

He said he had spoken to a parent whose child was hit by a vehicle on a 20mph road where traffic frequently drove at over 30mph. “We will act where we know there are issues as a result of accidents. But we'll also be pro-active and where we know speeding is happening we're going to put physical measures in place in a lot of situations to reduce the speed of vehicles.

"On the streets where traffic is going far too fast, people living there want the speeds to be reduced because often people are just driving right through their community trying to get from A to B as quickly as possible, and they've got kids trying to get to school or go to the shops or go and see their friends.”