New vehicle accident data indicates reduction in crashes across 20mph areas

Published: 10th July 2024

A recent examination of road accident data has indicated a significant reduction in crashes involving pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles within 20/30mph limit areas in the Scottish Borders.

Statistics indicate reduction in crashes since introduction of 20mph zones

A total of 16 crashes that resulted in an injury within 20/30mph zones were reported to Police Scotland in 2022. This is significantly down from previous years prior to COVID*.

In 2016 there were 55 crashes within 20 and 30mph speed limits, 38 in 2017, 41 in 2018, 38 in 2019, 19 in 2020, 21 in 2021 and 16 in 2022. These figures were provided by Transport Scotland. 

  Speed limit  20/30mph 40mph 50mph 60mph 70mph  Total 
2016   55 2 1 143 1 202
2017   38 1 3 143 0 185
2018   41 1 2 128 1 173
2019   38 1 4 106 0 149
2020   19 1 1 64 0 85
2021   20 3 3 75 1 102
2022   16 2 3 71 1 93
Total    227 11 17 730 4 989

The figures released by Transport Scotland indicate that our settlements are now safer and there is less potential for accidents and injuries to vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists.

Background to the 20mph project 

We were the first local authority area in Scotland to introduce widespread 20mph speed limits across over 90 settlements in 2020, and now have a hybrid 20/30/40mph across all towns and villages.

The trial was initially introduced as part of the Spaces for People programme aimed at encouraging more active travel throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Further safety improvements to our roads 

More recently, we secured additional external active travel funding to add to the popular electronic speed signs and many more communities will benefit from these new signs in the coming months.

More information

Crash statistics can be found online in full on the Transport Scotland website.

Councillor John Greenwell, SBC’s Executive Member for Roads Development & Maintenance:

 “We can’t make any assumptions about longer term road trends, but this is extremely encouraging news that indicates a reduction in the number of crashes across the Scottish Borders.

“Whilst the sample size is small and we will have to closely monitor these statistics over the next years to get a clearer picture of the impact reduced speed limits have had, it is obviously positive news to see fewer crashes being recorded meaning our roads and streets are safer places for all.

“20mph is gradually becoming the new normal across built up areas and more and more all local authority areas in Scotland are introducing reduced speed limits as a safety measure.

“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.”

*Data taken from 2020 and 2021 have not been taken into account due to COVID-19 and fewer vehicles on the road.