Dumfries and Galloway Council is putting in place a temporary 20mph speed limit in Stranraer from 6 October 2023. The new limit is in response to a decision made at December 2021 Communities Committee, a target in the National Transport Strategy (NTS2), and feedback from the wider public.
This scheme aligns with the development of a national strategy for 20mph speed limits across Scotland, which will help support local communities and promote national government outcomes. To deliver safer roads, Transport Scotland has an aspirational target to ensure all appropriate roads in built-up areas will have a safer speed limit of 20mph by 2025.
Drivers to this policy include an ambition to improve road safety and health outcomes with additional consideration being given to active travel and climate change targets. The introduction of the new speed limit seeks to reduce perceptions of road danger, encourage people to walk, wheel and cycle, and will create more pleasant streets and neighbourhoods by providing a more equitable balance between different road users.
The Scottish Government and Dumfries and Galloway Council are committed to encouraging more people to travel by walking, wheeling and cycling; we recognise the barriers, which include concerns around safety on the roads especially for vulnerable and excluded groups. A package of 20mph measures can help reduce these anxieties, alleviate concerns and contribute to a reduction in casualty rates while improving inclusivity.
This self-enforcing, blanket 20mph speed limit will seek to encourage considerate and respectful driving within Stranraer and create a safer experience for town centre visitors. The temporary scheme will support people to shop local and shop safely, helping to revitalise the local economy.
Once in place, the temporary 20mph scheme will remain for a period of 18 months before being re-evaluated through feedback from the public and data supplied through traffic speed surveys. The evaluation results will be presented for appropriate committee approval of a permanent speed limit.
Councillor Ian Blake, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee said: “A 20mph speed limit for Stranraer will not only reduce vehicle speeds and accidents, but also make the roads and streets more attractive and safer for active travel and vulnerable user groups. Reduced speed limits are now recognised worldwide as a means to improve road safety and prevent collisions. Evidence has shown increasing support for 20mph speed limits from communities, and the Council has agreed the formal statutory process towards permanent implementation.”
Councillor Jackie McCamon, Vice Chair of Communities Committee said: “We hope that the new 20mph limit in Stranraer will encourage more people to walk, cycle or wheel. 20mph areas help to reduce the number of road accidents and make people feel safer while going about their day-to-day journeys. The new 20mph speed limit aligns perfectly with the significant changes in the Highway Code to help pedestrians and cyclists, focusing on helping vulnerable road users by making active travel choices more attractive.”