Slow down: charities back move to blitz road speeds

20mph cropped

Dropping speed limit by 10mph would be good for safety, the environment and health say charities

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15th May 2017 by Graham Martin 2 Comments

Charities are backing a move to reduce the speed limit in built up areas to 20mph.

They say it will be both safer, more environmentally friendly and will help reduce incidences of lung disease.

The idea has been put forward by the Scottish Green party, which has launched a three month consultation on its Safer Streets members bill.

It proposes lowering the default speed limit in urban areas from 30 to 20mph.

The Greens say this is supported by the public, based on opinion poll findings, and it has charity backing.

Stuart Hay, director of Living Streets Scotland, added: “We know that many communities across Scotland are concerned about the speed of vehicles in their streets.

“We also know that if speed is reduced then people of all ages are more likely to walk and cycle to school, to work and for local journeys. Streets with low speed limits become more liveable spaces.”

Irene Johnstone, head of British Lung Foundation Scotland, said: "We want to protect Scotland’s lungs from dirty air. There are around one million people here currently living with a lung disease.

“We know that air pollution can make it harder for them to breathe, and can even put them in hospital. Not only that, it poses a real danger to children’s growing lungs.

"We need to explore all policy solutions to tackle this public health crisis. Traffic emissions are the major cause of pollution in our towns and cities.

“A 20mph speed limit could be a step in the right direction, by encouraging more people to cycle and walk, but to see long-term change we also need to see more action from the Scottish Government to restrict polluting vehicles from our towns."

Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell, who is bringing the bill, said: "30mph limits date back a century and the process of creating 20mph zones is too slow and too costly.

“By bringing forward legislation I want to create safer streets so we reduce the risk for pedestrians and cyclists, especially children and the elderly. By cutting speeds in the streets where we live, shop and go to schools or day centres we can reduce deaths and injuries and boost public health with cleaner air. 

"A wide range of interests from transport and health experts to environmental campaigners back the idea, as do the majority of Scots polled.

“I'd encourage anyone who wants safer streets in their community to respond to my consultation online and I look forward to discussing the aims of the Bill with various community groups around Scotland in the coming months."

Other organisations backing the bill are 20's Plenty For Us, Friends of the Earth Scotland, British Lung Foundation, British Heart Foundation, Brake and Sustrans.

You can find the consultation here.

16th May 2017 by jeremy

I live in Edinburgh which has recently brought in a city-wide 20mph speed limit. While I don't particularly mind driving at 20mph I do note that the car is revving more, as I could drive in 4th gear (or even sometimes 5th) at 30mph, keeping the revs low; whereas I often end up driving in 3rd gear at 20mph (especially on one of Edinburgh's many inclines!) meaning the revs are higher. I'm not sure, but I guess that more revs means more emissions?

19th May 2017 by Jessica Brown

Guiding someone one good thing is a noble cause and charity is a biggest noble cause.It is dangerous to drive fast as lots of accident occur while driving fast.It is safe to drive 10mph.This great to see that someone working for noble and spreading social message.You can further about over speed driving here.