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People urged to make their voices heard on slower roads

Councillor Fraser Macpherson.
Councillor Fraser Macpherson.

West End councillor Fraser Macpherson has said the local authority has not been quick enough to introduce slower speed limits across Dundee.

The Liberal Democrat councillor has encouraged people to make their views known on the Scottish Government’s Safer Streets Bill by January 28.

The bill, introduced by Green MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife Mark Ruskell, seeks to reduce the 30mph speed limit on restricted roads to 20mph across Scotland.

Dundee City Council reduced the speed limit on Johnston Avenue and The Glens last May as part of a 12-month trial.

Mr Macpherson feels the local authority has shown a “complete lack of momentum” on taking further action.

He said a default reduction to 20mph may be the only way to get “safer speed limits” on urban roads.

He said: “Edinburgh Council is now introducing 20mph zones over wide areas of residential streets and Glasgow City Council is also moving this road-safety measure forward too.

“Dundee should not be behind the curve and there is a real need for drive and enthusiasm to deliver this for the city.”

Mr Macpherson managed to get a proposal through Dundee City Council for public consultation in February 2015, after a failed attempt in June 2014.

That consultation received nearly 1,000 responses, with 56 percent of participants in favour of 20mph limits.

He added: “Despite a good rate of response, the council’s proactive response has been limited to one trial.

“Whilst that scheme is to be welcomed, the council’s response other than this has been non-existent… the council is simply not grasping the nettle on the issue of safer speed limits at appropriate locations.”

The councillor has been told by the local authority data will be used to arrange more “observations, findings and recommendations to committee”.

“I have asked for a timescale on this.

“The sort of locations I feel slower speeds may be appropriate are narrow streets in highly residential areas, particularly where there are large numbers of elderly people or children out playing.”

A Dundee City Council spokesman said: “In 2016 the council carried out an extensive survey into residents’ preferences around 20mph limits.

“he consultation asked ‘are you in favour of implementing a 20mph speed limit in general, in your area and in your street?’

“From its inception, the trial was always based on a signage only proposal.

“In answer to the first question, 51.3% of respondents said ‘yes’, while 55.7% of the total answered the same way to the second.

“The third question received the most positive response, with 56.1% saying yes.

“Streets that were identified by the public that were most unsuitable for 20mph were Perth Road, Blackness Road, Clepington Road and Kingsway because they are important parts of the principle road network.

“In response to the findings a 20mph zone in Johnston Avenue and The Glens was introduced for a year-long trial in May 2018 to assess the impact on road safety and wider health.

“It will help the council to find out more about how to balance residents’ responses with the need to keep the city safely on the move as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

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