Sensible 20mph

Your editorial on Edinburgh’s plans to make 20mph the speed limit for all residential streets and the city centre (“Common sense declines with speed limits”, 14 January) read like a throwback to the bygone era of TV’s Life on Mars; a time where transport policy generally meant making more space for cars.

We are to believe that “galloping down this risk-elimination road, the constraints on ordinary citizens will become insufferable”.

In fact, ordinary citizens mainly want to live on quiet streets that are safe for children and the elderly. That’s why we introduced a Vision Zero approach to road safety which simply means working towards the provision of a modern road network where users are safe from the risk of being killed or seriously injured.

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Given that vehicle speed is the most important single factor in the severity of road collisions, and that the pilot 20mph zone was wildly popular with those living within it, expanding the approach city-wide makes 
perfect sense. And of course we will retain a 30mph strategic network of mainly arterial routes.

Edinburgh is leading the way in implementing popular prog­ressive road transport policies that improve the quality of our lives as they do the quality of the air. That’s why a greater proportion of trips are made by walking and cycling in Edinburgh than any other authority in Scotland. Instead of being decried, Edin­burgh’s Vision Zero should be celebrated.

(Cllr) Jim Orr 

City Chambers