Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



During Road Safety Week, which runs from 20th to 26th November SNP Councillors have called for costings to implement 20mph speed limits in built up areas in Moray.

Figures from road safety organisation ‘Brake’ show that a pedestrian being hit by a car at 20mph is seven times more likely to survive than if they were hit at 30mph.

In Moray there have been several fatalities in 30mph areas in recent years.

Speyside Glenlivet SNP Councillor Louise Laing, seconded by Fochabers Lhanbryde SNP Councillor Dave Bremner, outlined the safety improvements that can result from 20mph speed limits.

However the call for information on costings was rejected by Tory and Independent councillors with the Council Leader saying the Council had ‘more important things to deal with’.

Speaking after the debate Cllr Laing said:

“Issues about speeding are being raised by residents, community councils, parent councils and other groups around our region.

“In Lossiemouth, Portgordon, Elgin, Rothes, Dufftown, Aberlour and many other communities there are people frightened to cross roads, people worried about their children’s safety and people who are seeing their roads busier than ever with vehicles.

“What I asked for in this motion was the cost implications of implementing 20mph speed limits in Moray. It would then be up to councillors to consider whether or not to carry out targeted work at speeding hotspots, whether to run a pilot scheme or whether to work on a full rollout over a number of years.

“Sadly there are still far too many road casualties, including fatalities, on Moray’s roads and some of those serious incidents have taken place in towns and some of those could have seen different outcomes with lower speeds.

“Regrettably the Council’s Administration were not prepared to support the request for these costings.

“What is most concerning is the Council Leader’s comment that the Council ‘has more important things to deal with’. That comment is really disturbing when we have seen a number of serious incidents.”

Fochabers Lhanbryde Councillor Dave Bremner, who seconded the motion, said:

“In my own village of Garmouth a new 20mph limit has made the village feel much safer for the residents. Unfortunately there was a recent incident in which a child had a close call with a car on a section of road in the village that wasn’t in the 20mph limit.

“Fortunately the child was not hit but the incident still caused alarm for all involved.

“The Council has a major part to play in safety on our roads and to reject this motion is short sighted. This was about identifying the cost implications and then considering what could be done against the other priorities of the Council but to not even give it consideration is a bad decision.

“The SNP has a long history of pursuing road safety issues in Moray Council, from arguing for improvement on dangerous bends near Dufftown to pushing for 20mph limits round our schools and calling for safety improvements on Enzie Brae.

“Serious accidents come at a huge costs for the victims, the victims families and for the public purse in investigations, NHS costs, and the support provided to people through social care and other services. We will continue to make the case for road safety improvements across Moray.”