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Edinburgh’s 20mph speed cap ‘consistently effective’ says campaigners

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Edinburgh’s citywide 20mph speed limit roll out has encouraged more residents to cycle and resulted in a significant drop in collisions and casualties, according to a new report

The report, which evaluates the policy’s success three years after its introduction to the city, has found a 30% reduction in road traffic collisions, resulting in a 31% decrease in casualties. 

Research suggests that every 1mph fall in speed brings a 5% reduction in accidents. Collisions occurring at lower speeds are also likely to result in less severe injuries.

With slower car speeds, the report found that perceptions of cycling safety improved and that the percentage of residents cycling at least once a week gradually increased.

Speaking to Zag Daily, Rod King MBE, Founder and Campaign Director for the 20’s Plenty For Us campaign group, said: “Edinburgh has led Scotland in terms of deploying a citywide 20mph speed cap. It has been consistently effective, made for better liveability, enabled better safety, and led to an increase in cycling and micromobility.

“Reducing the speed limit sets a new reference point for everyone. It triggers behavioural change and creates the right environment for active travel.” 

20’s Plenty For Us is calling on the Scottish Government to make 20mph the national default.

“We’re looking at 20%-40% as the norm for reduction in casualties once cities introduce the 20mph speed limit,” said King. “We’ve seen that in Cheshire West and Chester, Calderdale and in Edinburgh.

“The future of urban transport is not private motorcars. That doesn’t mean to say there aren’t going to be private motor cars, but we need a mix. We need cars, public transport, micromobility and we need people walking.”

The report’s findings will now be considered by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Transport and Environment Committee on Thursday.

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