BORDERERS are being invited to have their say on plans to make 20mph speed limits permanent across the region.

The reduced speed limit was introduced to more than 90 settlements across the region in October 2020 as part of the Spaces for People programme.

Elected members at Scottish Borders Council (SBC) agreed to the permanent introduction of a 20mph speed limit in December last year and a statutory consultation is the final part of the process.

The 20mph zones have proved controversial since their introduction, with council officers receiving death threats during a public survey last year.

But a project evaluation carried out by Edinburgh Napier University found that there was a significant reduction in speeds across the region, with average speeds across all settlements reducing by 3mph – and in some instances by as much as 6mph.

Mid Berwickshire councillor John Greenwell, executive member for roads development and maintenance, said: “I think it’s clear and obvious the major benefits the 20mph trial has had, both in improving the safety for pedestrians within our towns and settlements and encouraging Borderers to lead healthier, more active lifestyles.

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“Since the introduction of the 20mph pilot we have seen a significant change in driver habits.

Slower travelling cars means less potential for accidents and injuries and safer communities, and it would appear that a 20mph speed limit will be the norm across the whole country very shortly anyway.

“We understand that many people may think that motorists ignore the 20mph limits, however that cannot be justification for not having them in place.”

Since the introduction of the trial, SBC has been working with Transport Scotland on guidance for a national roll out of a new 20mph speed limit on appropriate roads across the whole of Scotland, which all local authorities will be required to introduce by 2025.

The statutory consultation is open for around three weeks to allow members of the public to submit their comments, objections or support in writing to the council for consideration.

Comments, objections or support must be made in writing, including your name and address, to the following address: The Director of Finance and Corporate Governance, Council HQ, Newtown St Boswells, Melrose, TD6 0SA.