Spaces for People 20mph trial given go ahead

Published: Thursday, 27th August 2020

Councillors have today (Thursday 27 August) approved a 20mph trial which will be introduced in 80 Borders towns and villages with the aim of encouraging safer active travel

We will implement the pilot project for up to 18 months, thanks to funding worth £1.2m from the Spaces for People programme which is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Sustrans Scotland.

Spaces for People aims to make it easier and safer for people to walk, cycle and wheel for every day journeys through the temporary infrastructure works.

The Spaces for People funding is also supporting a number of trial 40mph areas, road closures and one way systems in specific locations currently being implemented, with the 20mph areas expected to be rolled out across the Borders from early October to December 2020.

A report would be brought back to Council in 12 months, with suggestions on which schemes to retain or remove. The remaining six months of the trial will be used to implement any permanent changes.

A number of community groups are supportive of the 20mph trial, including Stow Community Council and Stow Community Trust.

Public consultation

All the Spaces for People schemes have taken on board comments from the public as part of a consultation run in June and early July and we will continue to consult with local communities as the trial progresses.

The 20mph trial does not currently include sections of trunk roads which run through towns and villages including, A68, A7 south of Galashiels, A6091 Melrose Bypass, A702 and A1. However, discussions are ongoing with Transport Scotland on these roads being included in the scheme.

We are currently finalising arrangements for an academic evaluation of the Spaces for People programme by a Scottish university, which will show which of these temporary measures were successful, which were not, and which need to be improved.

The full list of towns and villages which are part of the 20mph trial are available alongside further details on the Spaces for People programme.

Ross Murphy, member of Stow Community Council

“We hope this trial will improve road safety through the village and make it a better environment for children, pedestrians and cyclists to move around and stay active.

Grace Murray, Stow Community Trust

“We are absolutely delighted. During the Coronavirus lockdown we noticed how much local people were enjoying walking in and around Stow and enjoying the spaces we have here and the 20mph trial should encourage them to continue to do so.

“A lot of people from across Stow are positive about the trial and enthusiastic about embracing it.

“It will hopefully lead to less use of cars and more active travel.”

Councillor Gordon Edgar, Executive Member for Roads and Infrastructure

“Since we announced the Spaces for People programme in the Scottish Borders, there has been considerable discussion about the various projects in particular the 20mph pilot in our towns and villages.

“It worth reiterating that this is a trial but has the potential to help our communities’ lead healthier lifestyles which is why we want to work with Sustrans Scotland to try out these new measures.

“Advanced notification will be provided to the public ahead of the new 20mph limit being introduced in their communities.”

Further information

Images with Stow Community Trust are available on our Flickr page.

A video is available on our YouTube page.

The Council report is available.

Sustrans is the charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle. We connect people and places, create liveable neighbourhoods, transform the school run and deliver a happier, healthier commute.

More information on the Spaces for People programme is available on the Sustrans website. For specific queries, please contact Senior Communications and Public Relations Officer for Sustrans Scotland Charlotte Otter