Dumfries and Galloway Council is implementing a temporary 20mph speed limit in Annan in response to a decision made at December 2021 Communities Committee, a target in the National Transport Strategy (NTS2), and feedback from the 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.
This blanket 20mph speed limit aims to encourage considerate and respectful driving within Annan, and create a safer experience for both locals and visitors. The scheme layout was designed in accordance with current national guidance and in consultation with the local Councillors and the Royal Burgh of Annan Community Council. Once in place, the temporary 20mph scheme will remain for a period of 18 months; monitoring and evaluation – including data supplied through traffic data surveys – will then be presented for appropriate Council Committee approval for a permanent speed limit.
Councillor Ian Blake, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee said: “A 20mph speed limit for Annan 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. In many places inappropriate speed limits make movement dangerous where people live, work and play, particularly for vulnerable road users such as children and elderly people.”
Councillor Jackie McCamon, Vice Chair of Communities Committee said: “We hope that the new 20mph limit in Annan 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. Our local towns and villages should be places where people are free to travel in ways that are safe, sustainable, healthy and fair.”
The National Strategy has 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 Local Authority are committed to encouraging more people to travel by walking, wheeling and cycling yet recognise the myriad of barriers which include concerns around safety on the roads especially for vulnerable and excluded groups. 20mph speed limits can help reduce these anxieties, alleviate concerns and contribute to a reduction in casualty rates while improving inclusivity.