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MSPs to vote on cutting speed limit to 20mph in residential areas

MSPs will decide whether to lower speed limits in residential and restricted areas to 20mph across Scotland

A Bill proposing cutting the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph in restricted areas across Scotland will be voted on by the Scottish Parliament (Dominc Lipinski/PA)
A Bill proposing cutting the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph in restricted areas across Scotland will be voted on by the Scottish Parliament (Dominc Lipinski/PA)

The Scottish Greens have issued a final plea to MSPs to support cutting speed limits on residential streets to 20mph ahead a vote on the plans in Parliament today.

The Bill, put forward by Mark Ruskell MSP, called for 20mph limits on all restricted roads across Scotland in an attempt to improve safety.

However, after hearing evidence from the police, academics, councils, environmental organisations and motorist groups, the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee rejected the idea.

Although the committee said it approved of the general aims and supported lowering some speed limits, it could not recommend a “one size fits all” policy.

Despite the committee voting to express a lack of support for the Bill, the Scottish Parliament will have the chance to vote on reducing the speed limit on restricted roads from 30mph to 20mph.

The Bill has the backing of local authorities, children’s charities and environmental organisations but the Scottish Government seem to consider them secondary to the motoring lobby Mark Ruskell MSP

Ahead of the vote on Thursday afternoon, Mr Ruskell said: “Colleagues voting against this Bill cannot ignore the simple fact that it will save lives. This truth has been acknowledged by the Welsh Government, who are pursuing a course of action almost identical to that proposed in my Bill and the Scottish Government’s refusal to get on board is baffling.

“The current system, where councils create their own 20mph zones is both slow and expensive.

“The Bill has the backing of local authorities, children’s charities and environmental organisations, but the Scottish Government seem to consider them secondary to the motoring lobby.

“The SNP have declared a climate emergency and claim to be a party of progress but if they team up with the Tories to block this Bill it will be hard to take those statements seriously.”

The Active Nation Commissioner for Scotland, Lee Craigie, also spoke out in favour of the proposal and said: “I’m in support of this bill because it sends the message that what our society values is people and shared, safe spaces for everyone.

“Such spaces encourage more people to walk, cycle, scoot or wheel and so positively impact on the social connectivity in communities while supporting the mental and physical health of everyone in that community.”

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