Apologies for any delay in putting out this statement RE concerns on speed limits on Scotland’s roads. I was waiting for the parliamentary committee report into the bill.
The committee agreed with the Scottish Government that decisions on 20 mph speed limits are best taken at local authority level.
Presently, local authorities have the power to implement 20 mph speed limits where they feel these are necessary, such as in school zones or in locations with high amounts of pedestrian traffic. Most local council areas have implemented these restricted speed zones.
Dumfries and Galloway tell me that 80 of the 120 schools in the region currently have a 20 mph speed limit, with the local authority working to implement this in all school zones. I will continue to push for this - I did so last year in Glencaple and will continue to do so - I would be happy to take up any specific cases in the region if you want to highlight them.
I am also given to understand that developers of all new housing areas are required to plan road systems which are designed for a 20 mph speed limit, and that a 20 mph speed limit is being fully applied to the Heathhall area of Dumfries.
The Scottish Government remains committed to achieving safer road travel in Scotland, and progress continues to be made with reducing casualty rates on Scotland’s roads. In fact, the Scottish Government is operating casualty reduction targets for evaluating the safety of Scotland’s roads, whereas the UK Government have no such targets. The latest statistics show that casualties are at the lowest levels since records began in 1950 and represent a reduction of 50% on the 2004-2008 baseline. The 2020 target is a reduction of 40%.
Please do continue to follow the progress of the bill.
Joan McAlpine MSP