Give your views on 20 mph areas
A Public Consultation has opened to gauge the view of local residents and businesses regarding the possible continuation of measures introduced during the pandemic as part of the Spaces for People initiative including 20mph and 40mph areas, Law Road, North Berwick one-way, Countess Road, Dunbar, and Cockenzie to Prestonpans path .
When, in March 2020, people were instructed to stay at home to slow the spread of Coronavirus, governments across the UK introduced various interventions to maintain business, tourism, healthcare and education, in response to the changing dynamics of society.
The Scottish Government made available £30m for Councils under the ‘Spaces for People’ project to modify public spaces such as roads and town centres to make it safer and easier for people to walk and cycle for essential trips and exercise. East Lothian secured £1.4m under this scheme to tackle the following broad ambitions:
- slower speeds for quicker recovery - reduce speed limits in our town centres to 20mph to allow more flexible use of our road space; and reduce speed limits on inter-urban routes to 40mph to support cycling between towns for those who cannot drive
- space for shopping - re-locate parking in town centres to create space for queueing (and potentially eating) outside shops
- space for exercise - create an exercise circuit for walking and cycling around each town using traffic calming and improved off-road routes
- provide space at school - localised school interventions to encourage physical distancing and manage private car drop off
- cycle improvements and on-street bike hire - in towns and coastal sites
The lockdown saw a significant increase in cycling and, since it has been lifted, the Scottish Government has been making clear its desire to preserve the features which made this possible.
Environment spokesperson, Cllr Norman Hampshire, said: “The Spaces for People initiative provided all local authorities with opportunities to create additional space for physical distancing and in East Lothian we were able to introduce a number of measures including 20mph limits leading into our towns and villages. These were implemented under temporary Traffic Orders and we are now consulting on whether to make them permanent and if so, whether any adjustments need to be made.”
The consultation can be viewed online at: https://eastlothianconsultations.co.uk/infrastructure/future-spaces-for-people/