Scotland's Road Safety Framework

The Scottish Government is committed to develop a strategy which will see 20 mph speed limits implemented on those roads where it is appropriate to do so by 2025.

Speed limits affect everyone, not only motorists and their passengers but pedestrians, cyclists and communities. As well as influencing safety and risk they can influence quality of life and the environment we live in.

Lower speed limits (20 mph) in cities, towns and villages are internationally recognised as a key element in reducing road casualties and creating safe conditions for people to walk, wheel and cycle. Evidence suggests that accident survival rates are between one and seven times higher when a pedestrian is hit by a car driving at 20 mph, compared to 30 mph.

In 2022, 69% of all pedestrian casualties, 54% of all pedal cyclist casualties, 33% of all motorcyclist casualties and 30% of all car casualties occurred on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph in Scotland. In total there was 2201 casualties on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph. Of these there was 623 people seriously injured and 31 fatalities.

Implementation of the strategy will have a positive impact on the perceptions of road danger whilst encouraging people to walk, wheel and cycle, creating more pleasant streets and neighbourhoods, supporting Scotland’s health, road safety and active travel aspirations.

The strategy advocates a vision:

“Slower today for a safer tomorrow”

The ambitions to be realised by lowering the speed limit from 30 mph to 20 mph on all appropriate roads are:

  1. A reduction in road collisions and should a collision occur, a reduction in the severity of that collision.
  2. Reduce the perceptions of road danger and provide a more equitable balance between different road users.
  3. Encourage a change in the way we travel for those shorter every day journeys to reduce our carbon footprint and promote healthier lives.
  4. Improve our communities, by lowering speeds in the places we live and grow.

Working closely with all 32 local road authorities and the strategic road authority we will develop a programme for delivery to implement appropriate 20 mph speed limits and will then monitor and evaluate to ensure they are fit for purpose.

In the meantime, a toolkit is available to promote the benefits of 20 mph and FAQs that we have developed can be found using the links below: