South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has welcomed the news that 20 mph zones are set to be introduced in streets throughout Dumfries town centre but has called for the scheme to be rolled out even further.
As from Friday (12 March), parts of Dumfries town centre will fall under temporary 20 mph speed limits. The scheme is intended to reduce speeds throughout the town centre and in turn reduce the likelihood of accidents.
Colin Smyth said: “I have been a long-standing supporter of the ‘20’s plenty’ campaign and when a member’s bill came before the Scottish Parliament last year that would have made 20 mph the new default position rather than 30 mph, I gave it my full backing.
“I was very disappointed that the Scottish Government didn’t back that bill and it was defeated. As it is, it’s been left to local councils to decide, so I welcome this move by Dumfries and Galloway Council to expand 20 mph zones.
“However, I would like them to go even further than just Dumfries town centre. Many of our schools have 20 mph zones, but this should be expanded to cover the whole neighbourhood near the school. Why have 20 mph next to a school but not next to the play park around the corner?
“There would still be exemptions, such as the key main arterial routes heading into a town remaining at 30 mph, but all those streets off the arterial routes, such as next to housing, would be reduced to 20 mph making them safer and improving our environment.
“There are a whole host of benefits of 20 mph zones. Ultimately, they save lives. If a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle at 20mph they have a 97% chance of survival, but just 10mph faster means the survival chance drops to 92%, all for the sake of someone arriving somewhere slightly earlier.”