On Sunday the beginning of Edinburgh council’s roll out of 20mph limits across the city begins.

Drivers in the city centre and rural areas in the west of the city will have to follow this limit from Sunday 31 July, as part of a drive to improve safety and boost active travel.

The 20mph limit will be phased into another six traffic zones over the next 18 months, making Edinburgh Scotland's first 20mph city.

By January 2018, around 80 per cent of Edinburgh streets will have a limit of 20mph.

Stuart Hay, Living Streets Scotland Director says: “Edinburgh has taken an important step forward in introducing the widespread 20mph limit. People on foot are much safer when surrounded by traffic going at slower speeds, especially those who are young or at the older end of our community.

I encourage councils in the rest of Scotland to take on this initiative and I hope this will encourage people to walk more often, firstly within Edinburgh but ultimately throughout Scotland.”

Stuart Hay, Director, Living Streets Scotland

David Spaven, Convener of Living Streets’ Edinburgh Group said: “20 mph for the city centre is a crucial first step towards civilising the streets for pedestrians right across Edinburgh.”

Ian Findlay, Chief Officer, Paths for All said: “There’s now irrefutable evidence that everyday walking is good for us, individually and as a nation. It’s good for our health, connects people and communities and is by far the most efficient way for people moving about for short journeys in city and town centres.

“To capitalise on these wide ranging benefits it’s essential that decision makers do what they can to create safe and welcoming walking environments. A city wide 20mph zone is exactly the sort of measure that we would like to see local authorities adopt. Paths for All are delighted to see Edinburgh City Council rolling out 20mph zones and encouraging safer journeys for residents and visitors on foot and by bike.”

Jess Dolan, Director Ramblers Scotland said: “We believe that limiting vehicle speeds creates more enjoyable and safe cities for everyone, so we fully support the council’s excellent 20mph initiative.

“Urban planners in Scotland too often prioritise motorised transport, with pedestrians losing out.

“More than a third of all journeys in the capital are made on foot, so it is particularly pleasing to see Edinburgh leading the way with these important changes.”

Guide Dogs Scotland said: 

"The 20 mph speed limit on Edinburgh streets sees the capital lead the way in helping blind and partially sighted people to get out and about more safely.

"Lower speed limits go some way to reducing risks faced by people with sight loss using our streets, and means that pedestrians with sight loss can get out and about more safely and with confidence."

Other supportive organisations include Cycling Scotland, Scottish Disabilities Equalities Forum (SDEF), Ramblers Scotland, Sustrans, Spokes (Edinburgh and Lothian Cycle Campaign), Transform Scotland and Friends of the Earth Scotland.