Saturday, 20 February 2016
Council questions value of 20mph speed limits.
19 February 2016
Councillors in Midlothian have agreed to retain a trial village 20mph speed limit but ruled out further schemes because of budget restrictions. A 20mph limit was introduced on streets in Lasswade village last March in a 12-month trial. The speed limit had been 30mph.
Monitoring of traffic speeds was conducted at seven sites, with data collected in both directions giving 14 results. Ricky Moffatt, Midlothian’s head of commercial operations, told councillors that just five of the 14 average speeds had changed by more than 1mph, and one of these saw speeds increase.
Before introducing the 20mph limit, 89% of vehicles travelled above 20mph. After its introduction 88% of vehicles still did so. The proportion exceeding 30mph did, however, fall from 29.5% to 24.2%. Moffatt said the data suggested there would be “over 5,000 potential speeding offences per day”.
The village civic society has lobbied for the 20mph limit to be made permanent, and suggested it should be supported by more enforcement and measures such as speed indicator devices or countdown signs. Said Moffatt: “Notwithstanding the positive comments from Lasswade District Civic Society with regards to the lowered limit, it is questionable as to whether extending these limits to other areas would be viewed as value for money, particularly given the council’s financial position.”
Councillors agreed to retain the Lasswade 20mph limit but noted there was no budget to introduce lower limits elsewhere