A PETITION calling for Glasgow to become Scotland's second "20mph city" is to be considered by the council after campaigners argued that the existing strategy of rolling out traffic calming measures would cost taxpayers £72 million and take 40 years to implement.


Cycle campaign group, Go Bike, presented its case to Glasgow City Council's petitions' committee yesterday after attracting more than 220 signatures.

Bob Downie, the Go Bike member who drew up the 20mph petition, said the meeting had been "very positive".

The council confirmed the proposals would now be referred to the council's Sustainability and Environmental Policy Development Committee for further consideration.

In evidence, Mr Downie and fellow Go Bike campaigner Tricia Fort, said that just over 930 miles (1500km) of Glasgow roads - including congested city centre routes and residential streets - should become 20mph limits.

However, in the last five years only 101 miles (163km) of Glasgow roads have been adapted to 20mph zones by deploying expensive traffic calming measures such as speed bumps.

The campaigners also told the petitions' committee that figures they had obtained under freedom of information revealed the council had spent £53,000 per kilometre (almost £33,000 per mile) on recent traffic calming measures in a 20mph zone in the city.

If this pattern was replicated in all suitable roads across the city, they said, it would cost taxpayers £72 million and take 40 years to complete.

Instead, they urged Glasgow to copy Edinburgh, where plans are underway to convert 80 per cent of the capital's streets, including the city centre, into default 20mph limits using only signage - with no traffic calming infrastructure. It is expected to cost £2.2m.

Doing the same in Glasgow would cost an estimated £1.5m and could be rolled out citywide in around five years, said Go Bike.

As well as Edinburgh, the policy is already being adopted by cities across the UK including Bristol, Plymouth, Oxford and Islington as a means of cutting pollution and improving road safety.

Someone struck by a car a 20mph is seven times less likely to die than someone struck at 30mph.

Glasgow City Council has already revealed plans to introduce 20mph limits across the city centre and Dowanhill area in the west end, without traffic calming.

Transport Minister Derek Mackay recently signalled his support when he praised Edinburgh City Council for "leading the way", adding: "I will make it as easy as possible for other councils to follow suit."

The move to refer Go Bike's petition on to the policy development committee was proposed by Bill Butler, Labour councillor for Greater Pollock, and seconded by David Turner, SNP councillor for Baillieston.

Mr Downie, a geologist, said: "They [the petitions' committee] were very keen on the recommendations. They basically said 'you're pushing at an open door here'. They think it should be possible and now they want to see how they can do it, so it was really very positive for us."

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "There was full support among members of the petitions committee for the general principle of 20mph speed limits in Glasgow.

"The matter has now been referred to the council's Sustainability and the Environment Policy Development Committee for further consideration and how the implementation of 20mph speed limits can best be achieved."