Edinburgh needs to cut the speed to cut accidents

We all have the right to travel safely on our roads and footpaths, whether we walk, wheel, cycle, use public transport or drive. Deaths and injuries should not be seen as inevitable. Since becoming a Councillor I have had to support three sets of parents in my Ward just after their children were hit by a car. All those hurt made a full physical recovery, but these were still heart-wrenching meetings.

There’s no doubt that some road users are more vulnerable than others – we know that over 100 pedestrians are hurt on our streets every year, and too many of these are children.

In 2018, we became Scotland’s first 20mph city, when 20mph speed limits were extended to cover 85% of Edinburgh’s streets. Independent academic research has shown that not only have speeds continued to fall across the network since then, but both road collisions and injuries have dropped by more than 30%.

Enforcement, however, remains an issue so I was pleased to learn that problem streets in my Ward will be targeted for speed reduction measures. Experts in the Council’s Road Safety Team will soon be implementing interventions like signage or physical traffic calming measures targeted at improving the safety of the most vulnerable groups.

Everyone in the city deserves to live on a safe street, and every child should have the right to walk or wheel to school safely. This is why I was pleased to see the Council has launched a consultation on extending the 20mph road network even further. You can take part here.

In my Ward, this will give residents the chance to approve the Council’s plans to reduce the speed limit to 20mph on Colinton Mains Drive, Swanston Road (south of bypass), Oxgangs Road North (Firrhill Roundabout to Colinton Mains Drive) & Bonaly Road (south of Bypass). Residents could also urge the Council to go further by including: Redford Road (all), Colinton Road (all), Gillespie Road, Dreghorn Link, Oxgangs Road & Frogston Road West. Residents could also suggest Biggar Road, Buckstone Terrace and Lanark Road.

As a driver, cyclist and pedestrian I recognise that extending the 20mph scheme will make our streets safer and reduce accidents. I understand the arguments against cutting the speed limit and other road safety measures, but those against making our streets safer should speak to the parents of children involved in accidents before responding to the consultation.

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