Borders drivers cut their speed in 20mph trial

Borders drivers do seem to be cutting their speed in the region’s towns and villages following the roll-out of 20mph zones at the end of last year.

By Kevin Janiak
Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 12:43 pm
Councillor Gordon Edgar
Councillor Gordon Edgar

Ahead of a public consultation on Scottish Borders Council’s 20mph trial later this spring, initial road traffic data showing the effects the trial has had on average speeds has been made available to the general public for the first time.

An interactive online map has been developed, showing the impact on speeds at survey locations across the region since the introduction of the trial.

You can see the map at

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Councillor Gordon Edgar, Executive Member for Infrastructure, Transport and Travel, said: “Since the introduction of the trial, we have seen some really encouraging data in respect of a reduction of speeds across many of our communities where the 20mph trial has been in operation.

“I am really pleased to be able to share this initial road traffic data for the first time, giving the public an opportunity to view the overall impact the reduced speed limit has had ahead of the public consultation in May.

“We are working continuously with Police Scotland to raise awareness of this trial and determine whether any further measures should be put in place.

“By working with Edinburgh Napier University on this project, we are able to get a completely independent evaluation of the trial’s effectiveness, which will be used as a basis to inform any future decisions we take to promote more walking and cycling in our communities.”

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 Spaces for People 20mph trial began in early October last year, in partnership with Sustrans, aiming to encourage more active travel by making it easier and safer for people to walk, cycle and wheel for every day journeys during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

The initial project saw speed-limit signage at more than 90 settlements across the Borders updated to reflect the temporary 20mph limit.

As part of the next phase, the Council will now be introducing electronic signage at certain locations to help remind drivers of the temporary speed-limit.

Additionally, some buffer speed limits and countdown markers will also be erected between now and mid-May, with a further traffic survey planned for June to determine what has been the overall effect on vehicle speeds.

The trial has been run in conjunction with Edinburgh Napier University, who were appointed to formally and independently evaluate the trial. The public consultation will take place in May this year to gather the views of pedestrians, cyclists, residents and drivers on its effectiveness.

Respondents will be asked to give 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.

To view the interactive map showing the latest road traffic data in relation to the 20mph trial, and to view the pedestrian and cycle accident data, please visit

A report will be taken to full Council in summer 2021 including details of an evaluation of the scheme by Edinburgh Napier University, community council surveys and public consultation, with decisions expected to be made on which schemes to retain and which should be removed.

For more information contact the Communications and Marketing team: 01835 826632 or [email protected]