Councillor Stuart Marshall, pictured on the A7 in November last year as the 20 M.P.H trial began. (PIC : SOUTHERN REPORTER)

Scottish Borders Council has launched a public consultation for the 20mph trial taking place across villages and towns in the region. The consultation can be accessed at www.scotborders.gov.uk/20mph

The reduced speed limit was introduced to over 90 settlements across the region last October as part of the Spaces for People programme.

Run in conjunction with the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland and Sustrans, the project’s aim is to encourage more active travel including walking and cycling throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

Borderers are now being asked to provide their feedback on what impact the reduced speed limit has had across the region, whether it has encouraged them to walk or cycle more frequently and if any of the 20mph speed limits should be retained.

The Council is seeking to gather a range of views from pedestrians, cyclists, residents, businesses and drivers on the impact the trial has had on their experience travelling across the region before considering any permanent changes.

As part of the trial, preliminary road traffic data showing the effects the new speed limit has had on average speeds since last October was made available and can be accessed through an interactive online map: http://scottishborders.tracsis-tads.com/conduit/borders

Pedestrian and cycle accident data covering the period 2010-2019, showing the frequency and severity of accidents in Borders towns, can also be viewed.

The trial has been run in conjunction with Edinburgh Napier University, who were appointed to formally and independently evaluate the effects of the trial.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, Executive Member for Infrastructure, Transport and Travel, said: “The 20mph trial, which has been in place for the last seven months, was introduced to make it easier and safer for people to walk, cycle and wheel for every day journeys. “With it having been in place for a significant amount of time during the coronavirus pandemic, we now want to get feedback from Borderers as to how effective it has been. “Whether you are a keen walker or cyclist, have a business which operates in the Borders, live in this part of the country or drive on the roads across the region, I would urge you to feedback your specific experiences with the trial and how it has impacted your travel. It’s important that we get as many responses to this consultation as possible, to help inform any permanent changes the Council makes following the trial. These will be made purely on an individual basis, based on the specific needs of each community, the feedback we receive through the consultation and the impartial data collected across the length of the trial.”

Following the consultation, a report will be presented to Council later in 2021 outlining suggestions on which schemes to retain or remove.

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