Permanent 20mph speed limits to come into effect from 16 January 2023

Published: 12th January 2023

The clear and obvious safety benefits revealed through the 20mph trial undertaken across the Borders has led to the reduced speed limit being made permanent across the region as of 16 January 2023.

Clear evidence to demonstrate positive change in driver habits

The decision has been made following a two-year trial which showed a reduced 20mph speed limit brought about a significant reduction in vehicle speeds across our towns and villages.

Independent data collected since October 2020, when the pilot scheme was introduced, has shown a positive change in driver habits with average speeds across the region having reduced by 3mph and in some instances by as much as 6mph.

As a result there is less potential for accidents and injuries and communities now feel safer.

Spaces for People programme and public engagement 

The trial was initially introduced as part of the Space for People programme aimed at encouraging more active travel throughout the Coronavirus pandemic and was rolled out across over 90 settlements.

During that time, an extensive evaluation and public engagement exercise has been undertaken engaging with members of the public, Community Councils, Police Scotland and Transport Scotland to fully measure the effects of a reduced speed limit on public safety and promoting more active travel.

Over 8,000 individual pieces of feedback from members of the public were considered throughout the process by us along with independent academic studies from experts at Edinburgh Napier University. 

Hybrid speed limits introduced for some settlements 

As a result of feedback from the 20mph trial, and in consultation with Elected Members, Community Councils and Police Scotland, a decision has been made to introduce some ‘hybrid’ speed limits across some settlements across the region.

This decision has been made where a blanket 20mph limit was unrealistic, unjustified and generally uncomfortable. Generally these are areas with no homes near the road or long stretches where it is felt driving at 20mph is difficult to justify and particularly challenging.

These ‘hybrid’ settlements will have a variation of 20, 30 and 40mph limits with buffer zones in place where appropriate.

The 32 ‘hybrid’ settlements across the Borders have been listed below:







Blyth Bridge





West Linton











St Boswells





Romanno Bridge









Carlops* - a decision on the A702 trunk road is still to be confirmed by Transport Scotland

More information

More information can be found on the Spaces for People FAQ section of our website.

An interactive online map shows the impact on speeds at survey locations across the region since the introduction of the trial.

Councillor John Greenwell, Executive Member for Roads Development and Maintenance: 

“Through the independent analysis conducted by Edinburgh Napier University, we have clear unequivocal evidence of the effectiveness of the reduced speed limit in reducing average speeds across our towns and villages.

“Although a small number of people had doubts about this project, its introduction has undoubtedly made the Borders a safer and more vibrant place to live. More and more people are now choosing more active means of travel like walking or cycling because they feel safer.

“Since the 20mph trial was first introduced in October 2020 we have seen a significant change in driver habits which can only be a positive outcome – meaning less potential for accidents and injuries and safer communities.

“As set out by Transport Scotland in their national strategy, default 20mph limits will be rolled out to every road in built-up areas across Scotland by 2025 and I’m extremely proud that the Council has been able to lead the conversation around this issue and make the changes at limited cost to the Council due to the funding received to initiate the trial.”