Twenty’s Plenty

By Jane Cruickshank / February 10, 2020
Aberdeenshire council logo

REDUCED speed limits in residential areas across the Shire will be discussed at tomorrow’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee.

It is proposed to make 20 mph the normal speed limit on minor roads in our built-up areas while retaining 30mph or 40 mph limits on a strategic network of routes.

This would bring Aberdeenshire into line with other local authorities, including Edinburgh.

Transport Scotland has published a Good Practice Guide on 20 mph Speed Restrictions.

It states: ”There is clear evidence that lower speeds reduce the number of casualties, and there is specific evidence of casualty reduction in 20 mph speed limit zones.

”It is argued that this is particularly true for disadvantaged areas and communities and would help to reduce health inequalities.”

If approved, the introduction of 20mph limits would be phased in across Aberdeenshire over a 5 to 10-year programme, depending on the availability of resources. Priority would initially be given to disadvantaged areas where the benefits would be greatest.

Getting the Hump

One option before the committee is to continue with the existing policy whereby 20 mph speed limits are introduced selectivity – backed up by traffic calming measures as necessary to meet qualifying speed criteria.

This results in fewer drivers exceeding the signed limits but means that a much lower proportion of roads can have 20 mph speed limits introduced.

The committee paper states the blanket use of limits and traffic calming measures would not be viable. It also notes the expected introduction of speed restricting technology to our cars, which would make speed bumps etc redundant.

Two other policies are also being reviewed: Pedestrian Crossings, and Street Trading and Occupation of the Road. The Committee are asked to contribute to their development by commenting on the draft documents.

The Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee meets in Woodhill House, on Tuesday February 11 at 10am. Members of the public are invited to attend.

The full agenda and documents are available here