Streets Ahead at Road Safety
New initiatives means Edinburgh’s streets are safer than ever
Over the next few months a number of road safety initiatives are being launched in the city with the aim of making Edinburgh’s streets safer for its residents and visitors.
Under the banner of Streets Ahead, a series of campaigns involving the Council, the Police, the Fire Service and NHS Lothian will bring in measures to improve road safety in specific areas of the city and raise awareness of the responsibility that everyone has in making the roads safer for all.
20mph zones piloted in south Edinburgh
20mph speed limits are being introduced in most residential streets in the area between Morningside, the Meadows, Holyrood Park and Blackford Hill from Friday 23 March.
The aim is to create safer, more pleasant streets for residents and pedestrians without using speed humps to cut vehicle speeds.
Speed limit signs and ‘20’ surface markings will be installed ahead of this 20mph legal limit coming into place.
Many of the main roads in south central Edinburgh will keep their existing 30mph speed limit to move traffic through the area.
There are many benefits to 20mph zones. These include:
- 20mph limits dramatically decrease the chances of being struck by a vehicle
- if struck at 20mph or lower, a person stands a much greater chance of survival
- 20mph limits have shown to slow speeds on neighbouring (non-20mph) streets
- fewer vehicles cutting through residential streets in 20mph zones, meaning less traffic levels and noise
- 20mph streets can ease congestion which can lower journey times
- traffic danger is the biggest concern of adults when it comes to allowing their children outside to play, walk and cycle
- more than 75 per cent of south central Edinburgh residents and businesses who responded to the project’s consultation supported the 20mph limit
- 20mph limits encourage a greater sense of community by encouraging greater levels of street activity – streets for people, not solely traffic
- 20mph zones encourage more people to walk and cycle – good for their health and wellbeing.
Cyclist and driver awareness campaign
Streets Ahead – Road Safety in Edinburgh comprises the Council, the Police, the Fire Service and NHS Lothian and aims to encourage and promote safer streets across our city for all users.
Part of this approach is to improve road user behaviours through education and publicity.
This Easter, when many would-be cyclists dust down their bicycles after the winter months, a new safety campaign will focus on both cyclists and drivers.
The campaign aims to increase awareness for rules of the road, and create respect among road users.
The campaign highlights the rules that apply to drivers and cyclists at junctions where there is an advanced stop line (ASL).
ASLs allow cyclists to be positioned ahead of motor vehicles at junctions, helping cyclists to be more visible, and allowing them to move off in front of other vehicles more safely.
These box shaped road markings at signalised road junctions allow cyclists a head start when the traffic signal changes from red to green.
The box shaped markings contain two parallel stop lines, the first one is where all motorised traffic must stop, and the second one is where all cycles must stop.
The area between the stop lines is the ‘reservoir’ or ‘box’. Signage may be required to inform road users of the meaning of the extra stop line.
This is increasingly relevant as more and more people choose to cycle in the city.
Other awareness campaigns are planned throughout 2012, including a focus on large goods vehicles and cyclists. Such initiatives aim to help make our streets safer for all.
Parksmart tackles parking at school gate
Did you know that one in five cars on the city’s roads at 8.50am is on the school run?
As a result, some Edinburgh schools have a traffic problem as parents drop their children as close to the gates as they possibly can, breaching parking regulations in the process.
This poses a danger not just to their children, but also to other pedestrians.
Cars are frequently parked on the yellow zig-zags or double parked, causing obstructions and making it impossible to cross the road safely.
The purpose of Parksmart is to get parents to think about how they park and at the same time promote walking to school or park and ride as the easier, safer and most stress free option.
Road safety interventions officers offer help to schools who wish to tackle the problem by signing up to the four-week Parksmart campaign.
Gylemuir was the latest school to sign up to Parksmart and ran its campaign throughout February with the help of its road safety interventions officer.
Need to know
More information on the 20mph limit pilot can be found at www.streetsaheadedinburgh.org.uk
Further campaign details and other Streets Ahead information can be found at the same website.
For more information about Parksmart contact Lorna Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0131 469 3786.