The Safer Streets Bill will save lives, make our communities better places to live, and get more children and adults out cycling and walking. Yet the SNP, Tories and Liberal Democrats have come together to try and torpedo it. They’re ignoring advice by child safety, cycling, walking, environmental and health organisations, and instead have been cowed into defending the status quo by the motoring lobby. The Bill comes to the Scottish Parliament for a vote on Thursday 13 June. Let’s inundate MSPs with calls to do the right thing.

Let’s save the Safer Streets Bill

 

The Safer Streets Bill makes one simple change. It switches the default speed limit in urban areas to 20mph. Here’s ten reasons why we should do it:

  1. ScotGov’s target is for of 10% of journeys to be by walking and cycling by 2020, but we’re currently at 1%

  2. Wales has already committed to make the switch, and London is rolling twenty out too.

  3. Bristol Council estimate that their 20mph roll out saved 4 lives a year. Imagine if we rolled that out across the whole of Scotland.

  4. Twenty has a particularly big impact in deprived communities, where children are three times more likely to be killed or injured by cars.

  5. When Fife Council rolled out twenty casualties fell by 34% in poorer communities and 20% in more affluent neighbourhoods.

  6. An average of 7 children are killed a year on roads in Scotland.

  7. Every 1 mph reduction in average speed reduces road traffic accidents by 4-6%.

  8. In Edinburgh, where twenty has been rolled out, average speeds have fallen and support grown to 80%

  9. 20mph limits have been shown to increase cycling by up to 12%

  10. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Childhood Health believe this bill is essential in encouraging children and young people to feel safe to cycle, walk and play outdoors.

The Safer Streets Bill was proposed by Green MSP Mark Ruskell. It is backed by dozens of civil society organisations and opposed only by the motoring lobby. At the end of May a Committee of MSPs published a report on the Bill recommending that the Parliament votes against it because it takes a “blanket approach” and because they are concerned it would cost too much to implement. The Twenty’s Plenty campaign called the report "Illogical, innumerate and deeply flawed” and accused the Committee of “a shocking disregard for protecting lives”. Sadly, the report reflects a caving in of the SNP, LibDem and Tory MSPs on the Committee to the motoring industry. Unusually, however, three Committee members refused to back the report – John Finnie (Greens), Colin Smyth (Lab) and John Mason (SNP).

Parliament will now vote on whether to continue with the Bill or ditch it on Thursday 13 June. Please take action now and if you’d like to do even more you can join a demo at Parliament on Tuesday 11 June that has been organised by active travel campaigners.

 

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