Thousands of Glasgow roads set to have speed limit cut

A consultant has proposed reducing the limit on 3,868 streets across the city - to 'create safer streets'.

Thousands of Glasgow roads set to have speed limit cut Getty Images

Thousands of roads in Glasgow are set to have the speed limit cut from 30mph to 20mph under a plan to “create safer streets”.

A consultant employed by Glasgow City Council has proposed reducing the limit on 3,868 streets across the city.

After assessing over 5,700 streets, it has also been recommended that all 1,400 streets with a 20mph limit should remain at that speed. A 30mph limit could be kept on 472 roads under the proposal.

Introducing a citywide 20mph speed limit was approved by councillors in 2020. The council’s road safety plan commits to introducing the limit on the majority of roads by 2030.

Councillor Angus Millar, the city’s convener for climate and transport, said: “A citywide 20mph speed limit will bring Glasgow in line with many other UK cities and help to create safer streets and communities for all of us, reducing the risk of accidents and the severity of injuries sustained.

“Reducing the impact of traffic on communities will also contribute to the wider shift needed towards more sustainable forms of transport, which is vital if we are to achieve our target of Glasgow becoming carbon neutral by 2030.”

Almost £2.5m was awarded to the council by charity Sustrans and Transport Scotland in 2020 to support the implementation of the limit. The council agreed to contribute £2.1m in February 2022.

In November last year, a consultant was appointed to analyse the city’s road network and identify which streets were suitable for a speed limit change.

All roads with 20 and 30mph limits were assessed. Factors such as the location of schools, homes, shops, community centres and health services were taken into consideration.

Cllr Millar said: “We know that many other cities have a 20mph speed limit and the evidence that’s been gathered shows a minimal impact on the journey times for cars and buses.

“Reduced speed limits on local roads can help create a safer environment for children and other vulnerable road users, while encouraging more people to walk, wheel and cycle.”

He added: “Moving to 20mph is a technically complex undertaking and the council has been working with national partners to identify the best mechanisms to take this work forward.

“Now that the roads assessment is complete, the necessary legal, technical and logistical work required to implement the new 20mph speed limit can start.

“We will also be engaging with stakeholders and will continue to raise awareness of the mandatory speed limit to encourage drivers to lower speeds in line with the new limit.”

In an update to councillors, officials have said they are now “procuring a consultant to assist with progressing the next key steps”, including confirming funding with Transport Scotland.

Officials added the Welsh model of “changing the national default limit from 30mph to 20mph was rejected after consideration by the Scottish Government”.

“This means that local authorities will be required to change speed limits on a local basis.”

“There are many more roads which will need to be changed to 20mph than would have been needed to be changed back to 30mph if the default speed limit had been changed, as in Wales. The scale of this exercise will mean that the process will take longer.”

The roll-out in Glasgow is expected to be “undertaken on a zonal basis” rather than “all-in” citywide implementation. Dates for delivery will be “finalised following completion of the technical design.”

Speed limit orders will be promoted for each zonal area. These can take between 12 and 18 months to complete. The final cost for the roll-out has yet to be confirmed.

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