The majority of roads in Aberdeen could soon have a 20mph speed limit under new measures being introduced by the SNP and Greens at Holyrood.
Plans to enforce 20mph speed limits for most urban roads in Scotland will be introduced by 2025, the transport minister will confirm on Thursday.
The Times reports today that Fiona Hyslop is due to use her keynote speech at a road safety conference to discuss “normalising” lower speed limits to “create more pleasant streets and neighbourhood”.
In 2018, Edinburgh became the first city in Scotland to implement a citywide network of 20mph streets. Road casualties have since fallen by 30%, with previous research showing there was an “appetite for wider application”, according to Edinburgh city council.
Currently, about 86% of the capital’s streets have a 20mph speed limit and extending to all mentioned in the consultation would increase this to 90%.
The Bute House agreement between the Scottish Greens and the SNP includes a commitment to expand the 20mph speed limit, with an agreement that “all appropriate roads in built-up areas will have a safer speed limit of 20mph by 2025.”
However, Penny Mordaunt, the leader of the Commons, has branded the new default limit “insane” and said it was “punishing” motorists.
Hyslop will tell the 20’s Plenty conference in Edinburgh City Chambers on Thursday: “The Scottish government is committed to implementing 20mph speed limits on roads where it is appropriate to do so by 2025.
“By working with each of our local authorities to introduce more 20mph speed limits we will improve road safety and make it easier for people to choose active travel for their everyday journeys.
“We firmly believe that implementation of this policy will create more pleasant streets and neighbourhoods, while also supporting Scotland’s health, safety and active travel aspirations.”
In September, Wales became the first country in the UK to reduce speed limits from 30mph to 20mph in built-up areas. The United Nations joined environmental and road safety groups in backing the move, but opposing politicians declared it a “war on motorists”. The law will change the speed limit on about 35 per cent of Welsh roads.
Mark Ruskell, the Green transport spokesman who introduced a bill to replace 30mph default speed limit with 20mph, said the Welsh project had been a “big success and [shown] exactly why its expansion is so crucial to Scotland”.
“Introducing 20mph speed limits is the simplest, quickest and cheapest way to reduce casualties, and I am delighted to be working with Scottish Greens in government and with campaigners and local authorities to support this vital work,” he said.
“Quietly across Scotland, our communities are changing for the better and becoming safer, greener and cleaner, with safer 20mph speed limits, a ban on pavement parking and the introduction of low-emission zones.”