20mph: Poll finds 65% of Scots support urban speed limit

Almost two-thirds of Scots support a default 20mph speed limit in urban areas, a new poll suggests.

20mph zones in Edinburgh. Picture; Neil Hanna

A Survation poll of 1,018 people for the Scottish Greens shows that, of those who expressed an opinion, 65% were in favour of the idea.

The poll also shows, when don’t knows are removed, that 24.4% would be more likely to cycle with a lower limit.

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On Monday, Green MSP Mark Ruskell is due to launch a consultation on a proposed member’s bill to switch the default urban speed limit from 30 to 20mph.

The Grange area in Edinburgh is a 20mph zone. Picture; Phil Wilkinson

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He said the poll showed there was “real momentum” behind a 20mph default limit.

Mr Ruskell said: “A wide range of interests from transport and health experts to environmental campaigners back the idea. And it’s great that we now know that a majority of the Scottish public are behind it.

“We have a great opportunity to make a small change that will have huge benefits for pedestrian safety, especially children and the elderly.

The Grange area in Edinburgh is a 20mph zone. Picture; Phil Wilkinson

“It’s also good news for public health generally, as lower limits reduce air pollution and, as this poll shows, it will encourage more people to cycle along their streets.”

Stuart Hay, director of Living Streets Scotland, said: “We know that many communities across Scotland are concerned about the speed of vehicles in their streets.

“We also know that if speed is reduced then people of all ages are more likely to walk and cycle to school, to work and for local journeys. Streets with low speed limits become more liveable spaces.”

The move also won the backing of Friends of the Earth, with air pollution campaigner Emilia Hanna describing it as “an important step towards helping Scotland’s children breathe clean air”.