Scottish Borders Council officers received online death threats from opponents of 20mph zones in the region, it's revealed

Scottish Borders Council today endorsed the continued use of 20mph speed limits in the region – as it emerged that officers who helped form the policy had received death threats.

The speed limits were introduced at 97 locations in the region last October as part of a Spaces for People programme, run in conjunction with Transport Scotland and Sustrans, to encourage more ‘active travel’, including walking and cycling, through the Covid-19 pandemic.

But the move strongly divided opinion and raised heated debate from those in favour and against the pioneering trial.

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Today the local authority’s full council voted by 25 votes to six for the continued use of the reduced speed limits at settlements across the region.

20mph zones to continue.
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Philippa Gilhooly, team leader for traffic and road safety management, revealed her team’s involvement had led to abuse online.

She said: “Despite the abuse we received on social media, and even a couple of death threats, the team has remained professional and diligent.”

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Council leader Mark Rowley is now to have discussions with council chief executive Netta Meadows over the disturbing revelation.

Former council leader councillor Shona Haslam said: “We need to add our unanimous condemnation to the abuse that was received by the team by certain individuals. It’s completely unacceptable that our officers should be put under such duress.”

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Full report on today’s debate to follow.

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