20mph Programme

Road assessment

To shape the direction of the strategy and get agreement on the most appropriate route to have 20mph speed limits nationally, an assessment of the existing road network across Scotland is needed.

In early July 2022, Transport Scotland wrote to all local authorities asking that a 'Road Assessment' is undertaken by March 2023. This is to inform the development of the National Strategy for 20mph and to ensure that a consistent method of assessment was used across Scotland. Guidance on how to undertake the 'Road Assessment' was provided by Transport Scotland.

The assessment will be used to find out the number of roads affected and the financial costs for implementation of the National Strategy for 20mph.

The outcome of these road assessments will help in the decision-making process. They will also be used to inform policy, guidance, Ministerial updates as well as ensure that a consistent approach in their implementation is taken across Scotland.

For clarity and in the context of the national strategy for 20mph speed limits, an appropriate road is considered to be all 30mph roads. The exception is where after the road assessment a valid reason is given why it should remain at a 30mph speed limit.

Local Context

Our Road Safety Team were approached by Transport Scotland in the summer of 2022 and asked to become a pilot local authority for the roll-out of this reduced national 20mph speed limit around the council area. 

We have previously, in the main, reserved 20mph speed limits to roads around schools, self-enclosed residential and more recently some full settlements where appropriate. The process has evolved this way as the early premise was that drivers are more likely to adhere to the reduced speed limit where the restrictions are more concentrated, and children are likely to be more visible. However over time, experience has meant a shift to a wider roll out as they result in greater compliance due to less confusion over speed limits.

We are habitually asked by resident and community groups on a regular basis to introduce more wide-spread speed restrictions in built-up areas. Communities believe that vehicles they perceive to be speeding, create an increased risk and greater severity of injury to pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. They understand that if speed limits were to be lowered then this perceived risk would be greatly reduced.