Speed limits contribute to road safety yet it is not always evident on some main roads when the limit is 30mph or 40mph. Also, not a few pedestrians these days look more interested in texting and using their mobile phones than in crossing safely.
Scotland’s pothole capital – Edinburgh – could attend to road surface conditions first before introducing more 20mph limits as the potholes and ponding, as they say, can be distracting for drivers as well as those square-shaped road humps.
Do council officials think more speed restrictions divert attention from neglecting road maintenance and repair, and what research was conducted on speed limit vagaries on city roads when on many occasions traffic on Princes Street alone moves at a considerably slower pace than 20mph?
It was a roads engineer who told me years ago that traffic finds its own speed. I had been seeking a 50mph restriction on an awkward stretch of dual carriageway.
Experts have a way of changing opinions when it suits them!
38 Downie Grove
While 20mph seems appropriate for all the city’s side roads (many are unsuitable for any higher speed), it is overkill to apply that limit to the main through-routes, even to minor ones, especially where they are bus routes.
Slowing the buses jeopardises Lothian Buses’ good reputation for efficiency and punctuality and slowing all traffic will increase air pollution. In whose interest is it to have traffic on major routes crawling along and a snail’s pace? Aren’t most accidents on side roads? The city is only proposing 20mph because it can do so under present law. To introduce a more sensible limit for through routes, of, say, 25mph, as is usual abroad, would require a change in the law, something the city seems reluctant to ask for.