Last few days of the response to the 20mph bill. Your chance to respond if you haven’t already done so. We have submitted a response for OYSI but it would be really helpful if you could think of submitting your own response too.
Want to read what we submitted?
Do you think reducing the default speed limit on most urban and residential streets would enhance road safety?
There is good evidence that schemes that have implemented a reduction to 20mph in urban and residential areas have seen a reduction in casualties and collisions (eg Brighton https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/757307/20mph-headline-report.pdf ).
The current patchwork of variable 20/30 mph creates speed restriction fatigue so that it is poorly respected in those 20mph zones and very rarely enforced.
This would also enable the better adoption of other speed reducing interventions which would promote Active Travel such as the introduction of segregated cycle lanes.The health and community benefits of increasing the proportion of people who regularly cycle and walk are well established, and will last generations.
The power balance of our street scapes at the moment is largely skewed towards cars, over “walkers, wheelers, and rollers”. For our towns and cities to reshape themselves into a more human scale, we need to start redressing that power relationship so that the hierarchy becomes something more like pedestrians/wheelchair users > cyclists > cars. The benefits, social and health wise, are well demonstrated.
For behaviour change to happen, there needs to be a will from the bottom (motivation) which is matched by facilitation from the top (laws and infrastructure). The Smoking Ban in public places was a great example of the lasting impact of legislation with a public health remit. This is a bold and enlightened step which could start to reverse some of the poor health outcomes Scotland has seen in the past, and place Scotland in the vanguard of building healthier communities. The evidence that it works and enhances communities is there.
Do you think the reducing the default speed limit on most urban and residential streets would have a positive or negative impact on you or your organisation?
As a group representing those many people who would like to be able to walk or cycle to work safely, including those with disabilities, reducing the speed limit would have an extremely positive impact for us.
If the Bill is passed, should its roll-out be accompanied by a national awareness campaign?
Absolutely yes. We feel it would be important for people to understand the reasons behind it (analogies with the smoking ban might be helpful) and the positive transformational effect on communities with examples eg from Brighton.
Should Police Scotland be required to take additional enforcement action, over and above that used to enforce the current 30mph limit, following the introduction of a 20mph limit on most urban and residential streets in Scotland?
Absolutely. The educational impact of operations like Close Pass on the effect of motorist behaviour are great examples of how that enforcement could be educational rather than punitive in the initial phases.
With a significant and growing proportion of older drivers now being responsible for road casualties and fatalities, this might yield unexpected benefits of identifying older drivers who are no longer fit to be driving.
The increased resourcing for enforcement may be offset by a reduction in casualties.
The introduction of the bill would be assisted by infrastructure changes which contribute to speed reduction such as Active Travel infrastructure.
If the Bill is agreed, how long should local authorities be given to complete the roll-out of the new 20mph limit?
Many councils have currently held plans to consider further 20mph zones until they know the outcome of this bill. While we recognise that it may be difficult to carry out consultations as to which roads would be exempt from the 20mph bill in a very tight timescale, we would support its introduction as soon as possible.
Do you have any comments on the impact that the Bill might have on the following issues:
Human rights or equalities for any particular group of people
This will have a positive impact on those with visual impairment, those with disabilities who are unable to drive, those using mobility aids, households with children, those who have no access to cars or have to rely on public transport, those living in deprived areas.
This is one measure which can effectively contribute to reduced car use and increased uptake in active travel.
Island, rural or remote communities
Some rural communities suffer from trunk roads crossing their communities and a poor provision for safe Active Travel infrastructure. Careful consideration will need to be given at locality level as to how exemptions are decided.