The Highland Cycle campaign has long been a supporter of 20mph speed limits for built up areas in the Highlands. The Highland Council has recently begun a trial of 20mph areas and HCC will be campaigning for this. We want to see permanent 20mph zones that are supported with traffic calming measures and enforcement. Here we take a look at the road to 20mph.
First 20mph zones are introduced in the UK
The Highland Council begins roll out of part-time 20mph zones outside all primary and secondary schools in Highland.
Inverness city centre 20mph zone introduced, this was extended in 2017
The RESTRICTED ROADS (20 MPH SPEED LIMIT) (SCOTLAND) BILL is introduced at the Scottish Parliament by Green MSP Mark Ruskell. The bill is not passed.
The Welsh Government task force on 20mph publishes its report on 20mph on restricted roads – Senedd Cymru votes to support this. Legislation is approved in 2022, with the limits coming into effect in 2023.
The ‘Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party Shared Policy Programme’ includes the commitment that all appropriate roads in built up areas will have a safer speed limit of 20mph by 2025.
The Highland Councils Economy and Infrastructure committee is presented with the Highland 20mph programme. Highland council agrees to trial the temporary 20mph limits, for which it will receive funding from Transport Scotland.
Highland Council starts roll out of 20mph limits (lines and signs) in communities across the Highlands.
The Highland wide 20mph scheme went live on Monday 31 July 2023, the scheme uses one Council wide Temporary Road Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) which lasts for a period of 18 months. Permanent Road Traffic Regulation Orders will then be required to move the appropriate roads to a permanent 20mph speed limit.
In 2024 there will be public consultation and a consultation with community councils on the 20mph limits. At the end of 2024 (or early 2025) an evaluation report will go to the full council. By mid 2025 A final decision will be made on which streets should be retained at 20mph or revert back to 30mph. The remaining six months of the trial will be used to implement any permanent changes.
The Highland Cycle Campaign is member led – if you’d like to get involved with the campaign team for 20mph zones or any of our other campaigns, get in touch.
On Thursday the 28th September members met to consider our campaign goals, and what the Highland Cycle Campaign should campaign on going forward.
The following text was agreed:
The Highland Cycle Campaign wants to see a thriving and sustainable region of healthy, happy people where everyone feels able to enjoy the benefits of cycling and make the journeys they choose to by bike. We will campaign in the Highlands for cycling infrastructure that is safe, inclusive, connected and pleasant.
We then discussed what campaigns we could initially run to meet each of the 4 goals.
-20mph in built up areas -Vulnerable road user training for THC drivers
-Removing Barriers on Cycle routes
-Linked with Public Transport -Cycle ways that Connectcommunities
-Playstreets in the Highlands
Possible future campaigns
Campaigns will be reviewed at the AGM.
If you’d like to be involved in any of these campaigns get in touch.
If you’d like to see better cycling infrastructure in the Highlands one of your most powerful tools is contacting your elected representatives. The more positive letters they receive about active travel the better. Here’s how to get started.
Who to Contact?
Most roads, paths and cycleways in the Highlands are the responsibility of The Highland Council. You can write to your local councillors about these. Changes are likely to come to committees – you can also write to the members of the committee and the chair.
The exception to this is trunk roads (eg the A9); these are the authority of the Scottish Government. You can contact your MSPs about these.
Finding your councillors
You have 3 or 4 councillors depending on which ward you live in. Try and contact all your representatives but especially those likely to hold or sway the balance of power.
Use the Highland Councils ‘Find your Councillor‘ tool to find your councillors using your postcode. Alternatively if you know your ward you can look up your councillors by ward. You can email them, or post them a letter.
Many councillors are also on social media – you can contact them there too.
Finding your MSPs
You have 8 MSPs representing you; one constituency MSP who represents your local area and 7 regional MSPs who represent your larger area. You can contact either type of MSP about any issue dealt with by the Scottish Parliament.
As an individual writing to your local representative you don’t need to provide detailed analysis of all the angles – it’s fine to be yourself and add your own voice. The important thing is to contact them, not to be perfect.
Try to stick to one or just a few issues
Say what the problem (or good thing) is
How is this effecting you
what would you like them to do about it
If you like you can provide background about the issue or link it to their party policy.