The case for 20mphGreen MSPs

executive summary

Our research on the pros and cons of 20mph speed limits was used by the Green Party as evidence in parliamentary debates and campaigns.


The Scottish Green Party were campaigning to change the default speed limit in built-up areas across Scotland from 30mph to 20mph. To inform their campaign, they needed evidence to examine the case for and against 20mph.


We used desk-based research to assess the current evidence for the effectiveness of 20mph speed limits, and to review current Scottish and UK policy and guidance.

We then interviewed seven Scottish local authorities with different experiences of implementing 20mph speed limits, to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.


Our report was used by the Green Party to inform parliamentary debate about 20mph, and as part of their ongoing campaign for safer, cleaner and healthier streets.

We concluded that a nationwide default 20 mph limit for urban and residential areas could have a much stronger impact on speeds than piecemeal, street by street, or local authority by local authority introduction of 20 mph limits, but that a major awareness-raising / promotional campaign would be a key success factor.


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