John McLellan: Turning off warning lights outside school a mistake

A little-known but intriguing aspect of the city-wide 20mph clampdown is the decision to switch off flashing warning signs outside schools if the street is covered by the new limit.

Flashing lights outside schools should be reinstated, despite the 20mph limit
Flashing lights outside schools should be reinstated, despite the 20mph limit

The issue was brought to my attention by the Royal High Primary parent council which claims that since the deactivation of their warning lights, speeds have actually increased on Northfield Broadway.

Pointing to the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016, the council’s transport department says flashing speed signs can only be used when the limit is temporary. So I looked at TSRGD 2016, Schedule 10, Signs for Speed Limits, and couldn’t find any such ban on fixed flashing warning lights.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Read More

Read More
MSPs set to vote on 20mph becoming ‘default speed limit’

But the rules do say that Scottish ministers can change the regulations if they want, so even if it is true, transport minister Humza Yousaf has the authority to order the switching on of flashing warnings outside schools in a general 20mph zone. Nobody argues the lower speed limit is unreasonable outside schools, but there are always idiot drivers who need a reminder. So, if indeed such a rule exists, rather than sticking to some daft principle, surely the city council should be writing to the minister to request a common sense change. I raised the issue at last week’s council meeting and we learnt one thing – it hardly costs the council any money to turn them back on again. And as we have been told, if it saves one life, it will have been worth it.