August 2011

20mph zone ok’d in limited form

The South Edinburgh wide-area 20mph zone today got the go-ahead, but most ‘through’ roads will now remain at 30mph…

As feared by Spokes and despite many emails to councillors, and a positive response to a consultation on the Traffic Orders [21 in favour, 7 against] councillors voted to delete from the Order…

  1. the north-south Marchmont Road-Kilgraston Road-Blackford Avenue West Mains Road-Esslemont Road route
  2. the east-west Churchill -Strathearn Road-Grange Road route.

Only Green councillor Steve Burgess voted to retain these roads in the 20mph Order.   Spokes had emailed all councillors, and requested permission to speak to the Committee – but this was turned down.

Also supporting a through-road 20mph limit was the Grange Association who said, in an email to councillors, that it would improve safety and reduce the need for signage at the entrance of all the side roads in conservation areas such as around Grange Road.

Despite today’s big disappointment, the overall scheme, which forms part of the Council’s Active Travel Action Plan, is greatly to be welcomed.  The wide-area 20mph zone will stretch from Blackford Hill to the Meadows and from Morningside Road to Prestonfield.  It is also a pilot for other parts of the city – covering a wide area and installed without physical speed-reducing measures.

Originally none of the above ‘through’ roads were included in the proposals, but following a massive public consultation in late 2010, which supported tougher 20mph restrictions, they were added – along with Ratcliffe Terrace and Causewayside [between the junctions with Fountainhall Road and West Preston Street] which form part of the Quality Bike Corridor .

In today’s vote Ratcliffe Terrace and Causewayside were retained in the 20mph Order, and so the scheme will still be an improvement on the original proposals.

Also – inclusion of the through routes will be reconsidered in the future.   Transport Convener Cllr Gordon Mackenzie told a constituent, “A review of the pilot in 18 months time will consider whether to include these streets and/or to amend the scheme in any other way.”  Therefore concerned residents need to remain aware of the issues and to collect any useful evidence, pending that review.

Spokes is very grateful to all members and other pedestrians, cyclists and potential cyclists in the area who responded to the council and contacted councillors at the various consultation stagesWithout your efforts, Ratcliffe Terrace and Causewayside would not have been included – and indeed the entire wide-area 20mph pilot might have been rejected.

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