20mph speed limit cheapest way to save lives, says Green MSP

Cutting residential road speed limits to just 20mph across Scotland is the most cost-effective way to reduce road deaths, MSPs have been told.

Greens say a 20mph speed limit would save lives

Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell told Holyrood's Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee that the move would save lives and millions of pounds. And he revealed his son had summed up the issue when he said “you can’t spend money to bring back someone from the dead.”

Mr Ruskell has introduced a Member's Bill to the Scottish Parliament to make 20mph the default speed limit on all ‘restricted roads’ in Scotland, and the Committee is currently taking evidence from experts and interest groups.

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Mr Ruskell said: “The overwhelming evidence from road safety and public health experts is that cutting speed saves lives. Nearly three-quarters of people in Scotland also back a 20mph limit for residential streets.

“If we all agree that reducing speed is the right thing, the question is what’s the most direct, most cost-effective way to do that? Again, the evidence is clear that making this change nationally will save millions compared to either continuing piecemeal local roll-outs or putting in traffic calming for every street.”

The Committee has previously been told by that taking such a move could lead to an increase in road casualties as cyclists and pedestrians could be “lulled into a false sense of security” by a lower speed limit. The campaign group IAM RoadSmart has also suggested that it wouldn't change driver behaviour if the character of the road is not changed.

But during today's meeting SNP MSP Richard Lyle, gave the Bill his support. He said: “How would people would feel if their loved one was killed, and if this helps to save one life then it’s worth all the millions of pounds as far as I’m concerned.”