Safer urban roads with expansion of 20mph limit in Aberdeen

A consultation is to be held on the potential of hundreds more streets across Aberdeen becoming safer with the expansion of a 20mph speed limit into built-up areas.

The Council’s Net Zero, Environment and Transport Committee today approved the move after a report to members said evidence shows that if you hit a pedestrian at 30mph, they are seven times more likely to die than at 20mph.

Data relating to road casualties by severity and speed limit, shows that in 2022, serious road casualties mostly happened on 30mph and 60mph roads. Just over half (51.1%) of road traffic fatalities in cities and towns were pedestrians or cyclists and the majority (54.4%) of serious injuries were also pedestrians and cyclists, whereas just over a third (34.6%) suffered slight injuries.

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Ian Yuill said: “Making Aberdeen’s roads safer is a key priority for the Council. I welcome the decision by the Committee to consult on introducing more 20mph speed limits. This will give residents the opportunity to comment on proposals for lowering the speed limit in their area.”

The report to committee said The Scottish Government has developed a national strategy for 20mph zones and limits in Scotland, aiming to ensure all appropriate roads in built-up areas have a safer speed limit of 20mph by 2025. Consequently, there will be a reduced perceptions of road danger, people will be encouraged to walk and cycle which will improve their health, and it will also promote bus travel. In addition, it will create more pleasant streets and neighbourhoods.

There are 1,203 roads in Aberdeen which already have the 20mph limit and an extra 1,474 streets are proposed, which would be a a total of 2,677. The existing 1,725 roads with a 30mph limit would be reduced to 251. It means the majority of the current 30mph roads would be 20mph.

The report said Traffic Regulations Orders will be required so consultation will be undertaken prior to any measures being installed. Any objections to these will be reported back to Committee.

The report said the criteria prescribed by the Scottish Government for introducing the 20mph limit is:

  • Roads within 100m walk of an educational setting (eg primary, secondary, further and higher education);
  • Roads where the number of residential and/or retail premises fronting it (on one or both sides) exceeds 20 over a continuous length of between 400 – 600m;
  • Roads within 100m walk of a community centre, church, place of worship, sports facility, any hospital, GP or health centre;
  • Roads where the composition of users implies a lower speed of 20mph will improve the conditions and facilities for vulnerable road users and other mode shift (reflecting on future plans such as active and sustainable travel, places for people, and considering existing and potential levels of vulnerable road users);
  • Where the road environment, surrounding environment, community and quality of life impact (eg severance, noise, or air quality) will be improved by implementing 20mph speed limits.



Related Stories


All the latest highways news direct to your inbox every week day

Subscribe now