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Speed management in towns and villages

Pilot 20 MPH Speed Limits

Background

The Scottish Government aims to promote the safe and efficient use of the roads it is responsible for. Where these pass through towns and villages, there are frequently competing pressures between their strategic purpose, and community interests relating to safety and amenity.

The promotion of the pilot 20 mph limits proposed for the trunk road network is intended to support road safety generally, but target safety benefits for vulnerable road users in particular. This is reflected in the selection criteria for the pilot areas.

There have been a number of calls for lower speed limits and specifically 20 mph limits in some towns and villages on the trunk road network. These were included in the wider list of potential candidate sites considered. Sites were also identified for consideration on the basis of the evidence of safety issues that may be addressed by a locally reduced speed limit.

The proposed pilot focuses on the use of 20 mph limits where there is an evidence led criteria, specifically;

  • Personal Injury Accidents particularly those involving vulnerable road users
  • Vehicle speeds – not being significantly above an average of 24 mph
  • Traffic volumes
  • Vehicle composition including the HGV proportion of total traffic volume
  • Road Environment including layout, key buildings and social amenities

The pilot sites should not require significant engineering or Police enforcement to support their operation. There will be many situations across the country where the introduction of a 20 mph limit would require more extensive and expensive engineering to force vehicle speeds to drop.

Typically, more heavily engineered speed reductions are not appropriate for the strategic network, given the use of these for Emergency vehicles, HGVs and other large vehicles and the adverse impacts associated with traffic calming heavily trafficked routes. Any such proposals should be considered separately and as part of our wider approach to speed management.

Pilot Sites

The following pilot sites that have been recommended:

We have engaged with communities and wider stakeholders in taking forward the pilot speed limit proposals by holding public exhibitions within each of the towns and villages. The extents of each of the speed limits can be viewed by clicking the links below and if you have any comments on our proposals then please email:

strategicroadsafety@transportscotland.gsi.gov.uk

Bigger

Langholm

Largs

Maybole

Oban

Recorded Personal Injury Collisions, Oban
Speed Survey Results, Oban
Proposed 20mph Zone, Oban

Transport Scotland are working with Argyll and Bute Council who also promoted their intention to extend 20 mph zones on their road network in Oban.   

Next Steps
The next stage is to formally promote the orders for the proposed changes through the traffic regulation order statutory process.

What other sites were considered?

A number of sites were considered across Scotland. In addition to the 5 successful sites, consideration was given to sites at: Keith; Nairn; Inveraray; Golspie; Callander; Springholm; Crocketford; Aberlour; and Cromdale.

Why are those sites not being taken forward?

Evidence indicated that the use of 20mph limits in these areas would be ineffective or impractical. Transport Scotland are now considering whether alternative road safety methods can be identified at these sites. These may include additional signing lining or the measures, but, in each case, it will be important to consider what is possible and likely to be effective.

Why are you not implementing a 20mph limit at Keith?

The assessment in Keith indicated that the road characteristics, in particular the width of the A96, and current traffic speed do not support the use of a self-enforcing 20 mph limit. Transport Scotland is committed to undertaking a route accident reduction plan (RARP) in 2014 and this will include consideration of issues in Keith.

Why are you not implementing a 20mph limit at Nairn?

As is the case with Nairn, the assessment in Nairn indicated that the road characteristics, in particular the width of the A96, and current traffic speed do not support the use of a self-enforcing 20 mph limit. The A96 RARP will also include Nairn.

Why are you not implementing a 20mph limit at Inveraray?

The numbers of recorded vulnerable road user accidents was low. As the key objective of the proposed 20 mph limits is to improve safety for vulnerable road users and, this low number indicates there is no case for reducing the speed limit.

Why are you not implementing a 20mph limit at Golspie?

For the period of the assessment, there were no recorded vulnerable road user accidents. The key objective of the proposed 20 mph limits is to improve safety for vulnerable road users and, in this instance, there is no case for reducing the speed limit.

Why are you not implementing a 20mph limit at Callander?

The numbers of recorded vulnerable road user accidents was low. The key objective of the proposed 20 mph limits is to improve safety for vulnerable road users and, given the low numbers of accidents recorded, there is no case for reducing the speed limit to improve safety.

Why are you not implementing a 20mph limit at Springholm?

For the period of the assessment, there were no recorded vulnerable road user accidents. In addition, the nature of the carriageway does not support the use of a self-enforcing 20mph speed limit. The key objective of the proposed 20 mph limits is to improve safety for vulnerable road users and, in this instance, there is no case for reducing the speed limit.

Why are you not implementing a 20mph limit at Crocketford?

As with Springholm, for the period of the assessment, there were no recorded vulnerable road user accidents. In addition, the nature of the carriageway does not support the use of a self-enforcing 20mph speed limit. The key objective of the proposed 20 mph limits is to improve safety for vulnerable road users and, in this instance, there is no case for reducing the speed limit.

Why are you not implementing a 20mph limit at Aberlour?

During the assessment period, there were no recorded vulnerable road user accidents in Aberlour. The key objective of the proposed 20 mph limits is to improve safety for vulnerable road users and, in this instance, there is no case for reducing the speed limit.

Why are you not implementing a 20mph limit at Cromdale?

For the period of the assessment, there were no recorded vulnerable road user accidents. The key objective of the proposed 20 mph limits is to improve safety for vulnerable road users and, in this instance, there is no case for reducing the speed limit.

Is Transport Scotland doing any other work related to 20mph limits?

Transport Scotland are working with SCOTS (The Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland) to develop guidance for local authorities on implementing 20 mph limits and zones on local roads. This guidance will aim to provide greater clarity around what local authorities can and cannot do and set out the circumstances in which an application needs to be made to Scottish Ministers.

Will you be delivering any other 20mph limits on the trunk road network?

There are no current proposals for additional sites at this time. We will monitor the sites where we deliver reduced speed limits and assess their effectiveness before deciding how best to proceed. We will consider how to improve safety and speed compliance in towns and villages and across the Trunk Road generally, through the actions stemming from our road safety plan.

What else are you doing to manage speed in towns and villages?

We are working with communities across Scotland in terms of the specific issues that exist in their area. We are also updating our road safety plan, which will include consideration of how best to manage speed appropriately across the diverse range of conditions we meet on our roads.  It will be updated during the course of 2014.

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