MSPs set to vote on 20mph becoming the '˜default speed limit'

The Scottish Parliament will be able to vote next year on whether the default speed limit in built up areas should be lowered from 30 to 20mph.

Monday, 4th December 2017, 8:53 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 2:42 am
The plans would see 20mph become the default speed limit.

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The announcement comes after a Green politician’s proposal received cross party backing from MSPs.

Green MSP Mark Ruskell has so far received 20 MSP signatures from three parties, meaning that the Member’s Bill, aimed at improving road safety and reducing traffic pollution, has moved a step closer to becoming a reality.

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Edinburgh Council 20mph zones were rolled out at the start of 2017. Pictured; Lesley Hinds. Pic; Greg Mcvean

The British Heart Foundation, British Lung Foundation and road safety charity Brake have also backed the calls for safer streets and the introducing of the new default speed limit.

If successful, it would mean councils no longer have to go through a lengthy and costly application process to set up a 20mph zone.

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Under any plans, local authorities would still be able to designate 30mph routes where required, using the same system they currently use to bring in 20mph zones in residential areas.

Edinburgh Council 20mph zones were rolled out at the start of 2017. Pictured; Lesley Hinds. Pic; Greg Mcvean

Due to the cross party ssupport for the proposal, Mr Ruskell will now be able to to draft legislation for consideration of the Scottish Parliament next year.

MSP Mark Ruskell said: “It’s heartening to see cross-party support for creating cleaner, healthier and safer streets for everyone in Scotland. It’s great to have signatures from MSPs from all over Scotland, many of them known for their record in championing road safety campaigns.

“Thank you to all of the campaign organisations who have shown support so far and the many individuals whose personal experiences of accidents and attempts to establish 20mph zones have informed my work.

“The public consultation on my proposed bill had over 2,200 responses and over 80% support. I look forward to other MSPs signing up for improved road safety ahead of the 19 December deadline for signatures.”