We have received an urgent request from Mark Ruskell for extra support for the 20mph bill which is looking on shakey ground. Although Glasgow City Council have signed up to make all residential areas 20mph, the Transport Minister is opposing making this a standard approach across all council areas. Failing to pass this bill will make it much harder, lengthier and more costly for any councils who do want to implement 20mph zones. As long term backers of 20mph, we hope our members can add further support to the bill.
I’m writing to let you know where my Safer Streets 20 mph Bill is at in the parliamentary process and to ask for your help.
Firstly many thanks for engaging with the bill over the last two years, it has been a long haul and the case for 20mph as the default speed limit on the streets where we live, work and play has grown a lot stronger, as has public opinion in favour. We know now that even a small reduction of speed on our streets will save lives and hundreds of injuries every year. The support of your organisation has been invaluable.
Since December, the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee at Holyrood has been scrutinising the bill and there has been strong evidence given from public health, road safety, active travel and environmental organisations, as well as councils, road engineers and others.
Unfortunately, the Cabinet Secretary for Transport Michael Matheson is now opposing the bill.
He wants to see the current approach to designating small piecemeal 20 zones left in place. This is despite the current system costing more and resulting in a postcode lottery.
He is writing to councils to ask how the designation system could be made simpler, but we already know after nearly 3 years of research what councils think. The majority want to see 20mph as a default limit, while retaining a limited number of through roads at 30mph. My bill allows this to happen. Five councils have now stopped their roll out of 20 zones until the bill comes into force.
Right now it looks like the motoring lobby have won, but there is still a chance we can make all of Scotland’s streets safer and healthier by putting pressure on the Scottish Government to back my bill at the Stage 1 vote in the weeks to come.
The First Minister has been supportive of what the bill is trying to achieve, but right now needs to hear why her government must back it. Please contact Nicola Sturgeon and let her know the difference 20mph would make to your community and that the bill is the best way to deliver it across Scotland.
In addition, if you were able to email your own MSPs that could also help to tip the balance in our favour. Many thanks.
We’d encourage you to send an individual email which will have most impact but if you don’t have time, a quick web form to sign is here.