Speed limit pilot for Lasswade

A traffic accident in Lasswade
A traffic accident in Lasswade

A pilot project that will see 20mph speed restrictions introduced in parts of Lasswade has been agreed by Midlothian Council.

Calls for a reduced limit on the High Street and feeder roads of the conservation village were first brought to the attention of the council via local residents at its Petitions Committee in June 2013.

They were finally answered at a meeting of the full council on December 16, when it was agreed to also introduce restrictions at nursery schools in Midlothian.

An opposition Labour Group amendment to include 20mph zones at five more areas – Penicuik town centre, Danderhall, Bilston, Gorebridge (between the two existing primary schools) and Mayfield (the Blackcot/Waverley housing estate) – fell when Councillor Derek Rosie’s (SNP) call, to await Scottish Government guidance before rolling out the strategy, was backed by ten votes to eight.

Councillor Owen Thompson (SNP) said: “I can see the merit in doing this at nurseries but what strategic method was used [by Labour] to come up with this list of residential areas? It’s pie in the sky to pick places out of the hat to use as pilot schemes. We need to have a strategic approach to this.”

As council-run nurseries already operate within 20mph traffic calmed zones or part-time 20mph limits, the move agreed last month will see private nurseries fall into line. The total cost of the move will be £30,000.

Extending 20mph zones into residential areas around schools would come at a cost of £200,000, and this has not been ruled out for the future.

A further expansion to include residential streets that are not adjacent to existing 20mph zones would cost another £260,000, the council’s head of commercial operations Ricky Moffat told the meeting.

The pilot project in Lasswade will last 12-months.