Scotland tracking Welsh 20mph limits “with interest”

The reduction in road casualties in Wales following the introduction of a controversial 20mph scheme in later 2023has been ‘noted’ by Scottish ministers, who are in the process of rolling out 20mph limits across Scotland but, crucially, without changing the country’s default speed limit.

Scottish Transport Secretary Fiona Hyslop told MSPs in Holyrood last week: “We will follow the Welsh experience, and indeed the three-month figures on road casualties, with interest.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Greens transport spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP has led calls for a limit of 20mph in built up areas across Scotland. In 2018 Mr Ruskell brought forward a Members Bill to replace the current 30mph default speed limit on Restricted Roads with a 20mph limit.

New research from transport consultants Agilysis shows that average speeds in Wales are down by 2.4mph compared to what they were before the limit was introduced for built-up areas in September 2023.

The Bute House Agreement between the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Government includes a commitment to expand 20mph in Scotland, with an agreement that “all appropriate roads in built up areas will have a safer speed limit of 20mph by 2025.”

Ruskell said: “20mph zones save lives. They are a key step towards safer streets, and their success in Wales shows the kind of positive impact that their expansion can have in Scotland.

“There are already widespread 20mph limits in place in the Highlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow and other parts of our country. I want to see them rolled out in every community to create safer, greener and more liveable streets for residents and families.

“Our streets are for all of us, and we all have the right to safety. As the Welsh experience shows, 20mph limits are a simple and effective way to make a difference. With Scottish Greens in government, we are working with road safety campaigners and local authorities to make them a reality.”


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