CYCLE campaigners in Glasgow have been left baffled after a petition to create a "20mph city" mirroring Edinburgh was blocked because the council said it was already doing enough.

GoBike submitted a petition in January calling on Glasgow City Council to "set in motion plans for city-wide 20mph speeds" to cut road deaths and encourage more people to cycle.

They hoped to gather at least 25 signatures to force the plea to be discussed by the petitions committee, who have the power to refer it to the full council for debate.

The petition was due to go live by Friday but was stalled after staff in the roads department advised that establishing 20mph limits - as opposed to "zones" accompanied by traffic calming measures - required permission from Scottish Ministers. As a result, the group were told their petition was "not eligible".

However, when Transport Scotland pointed out that this was not in fact the case, the Land and Environmental Services revised their response and told the group on Friday that the petition "cannot be supported" because "not every road in Glasgow will be suitable for a 20mph limit".

The local authority added that it was already "working towards making all suitable residential roads mandatory 20mph zones or limits in line with its current resources".

Bob Downie, the GoBike committee member who drew up the petition, said the responses had been very disappointing.

He said: "It should be for the petitions' committee to reject it, not Land and Environmental Services. I feel like they're slipping in a phase too early. What upsets me is that is that they're jumping in to stop the debate before it's even started."

More than 80 per cent of Edinburgh's streets and carriageways, including the entire city centre, will be converted to 20mph limits under council plans due to be rolled out by the end of this year.

The full response to Mr Downie from Glasgow City Council council stated that the phased rollout of 20mph zones in residential areas, which began in 2010 and is due to be completed in March 2015, would result in around 163km of 20mph roads in Glasgow.

There are also plans to introduce mandatory 20mph limits without costly traffic calming measures in the Dowanhill area and the city centre under phase five, but it is unclear how many kilometres of road this would encompass.

Mr Downie, a geologist whose work includes map analysis, said 163km of road in Glasgow was equivalent to just 11-12 per cent of the city's residential roads falling into the 20mph bracket.

He said both the pace and scope of progress was not ambitious enough.

"In addition to around 1,385km of strictly residential roads, Glasgow has about 650km of other roads including motorways," he said.

"Of Glasgow's other roads, approximately 234km are 'tertiary' roads that link the residential blocks. A large proportion of the tertiary roads should arguably be 20mph.

"Ergo, we, GoBike would like to see around 1,400-1,600km of Glasgow's roads slowed to 20mph sooner rather than later.

"If you focus on the fact that phases one-four will have taken five years to implement, then to implement 1,385km at this rate will take in the order of 42 years - or an additional 37 years. Some may argue that is too slow."

Although Edinburgh is the trailblazer for Scotland, England already boasts a number of 20mph towns and cities including Nottingham, Bristol and Brighton.

A study of the policy's effect in parts of London revealed it cut fatal and serious road collisions involving children by up to 65 per cent and halved them for pedestrians and cyclists.

Councillor Alistair Watson, Executive Member for Sustainability and Transport, said: "Improving the safety of all road users in Glasgow remains a top priority for the council.

"While not every road in the city is suitable for a 20mph limit, we continue to explore innovative methods to reduce speed within our communities.

"We have already introduced 20mph zones in residential streets right across the city and will continue to do so where appropriate."