Let's extend the benefits of 20mph zones throughout neighbourhoods

Mark Ruskell, Scottish Green MSP for Mid Scotland & Fife, tonight (28 Sep) led a debate at Holyrood on Residential Road Safety, and urged Scottish Ministers to consider default 20 mph zones in residential areas to protect children on their walk to school.

Mr Ruskell raised the issue of default 20 mph zones with the First Minister earlier this month, highlighting the benefits to air quality, public health and climate change emissions as well as safety.

Mark said:

"Existing 20 mph zones simply aren't enough when it comes to the safety of children. Many schools are in residential areas and may well have their own 20 mph zone, but these school zones typically only extend a few hundred metres beyond the gates ignoring the fact that on average children travel nearly 2km to school.

"If we are convinced of the benefits of 20 at the school gate then why not extend those benefits to the whole route of the average school journey through a neighbourhood? 

"Since the 30 mph limit was introduced as the default in 1934, the evidence and understanding of road safety has moved on. A growing number of bodies from Twenty’s Plenty to the British Heart Foundation are calling for us to move into the 21st Century by dropping to twenty for residential areas. We must heed that call."


The motion put forward by Mark Ruskell and debated by Parliament tonight was:
That the Parliament welcomes the efforts of communities across Scotland, including in Mid-Scotland and Fife, who are working to improve safety on residential roads through schemes such as 20's Plenty; understands that there has been a welcome and significant drop in casualties on the country's roads over the last decade but recognises that every death or serious injury is a tragedy, and supports further action to make roads safer for all, especially people who are considered the most vulnerable.