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Towns at odds over 20 mph zones

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By Fiona Reid

TWENTY could be plently in Moffat as it’s revealed the town centre speed limit could easily be dropped thanks to slow moving traffic.

But the news has come as a blow for 20 mph campaigners in Lochmaben. Savvy drivers are already keeping well below the 30 mph speed limit through the town centre in Moffat, making the move to a 20 mph zone an easy switch.

Annandale North Councillor Stephen Thompson explained that the council recently measured the average speed coming through Moffat town centre at under 24 mph.

He said: “This means that it would be possible to puta20 mph limit through the town centre, without additional traffic calming measures, providing this met with the town’s approval.

“There would also be a number of things still to determine, such as where should a 20 mph limit start and finish so that it didn’t become confusing for drivers and pedestrians.

“There’s still some more data to be looked at for the average speeds at the town boundaries so this could influence things as well.”

Moffat Community Council chairman Bob Opray is keen to see the 20 mph zone created, he said: “I think it’s an excellent idea and there is not a person who I’ve spoke to that seems opposed.

“However, we need to make sure that this is something that the vast majority of people want for Moffat. Myself and the community council would like as much feedback as possible.”

Meanwhile, Lochmaben Community Council have been campaigning to see their limit lowered to 20 mph- after a local authority survey last month found that over 850 vehicles are speeding through the royal burgh every day. But Councillor Thompson says it’s not as straightforward.

He said: “Moffat’s speed contrasts with Lochmaben where the average speed was measured at over 25 mph through the high street.

“This would mean traffic calming measures such as speed humps, road narrowing, or rumble strips, for example, would have to be put in place to reduce the average speed to below 24 mph and create a 20 mph zone, which would involve much more modification and cost.”

Reacting, Lochmaben Community Council chairwoman Pam Linton admitted surprise at the potential ease of Moffat’s speed change. She said: “We have over 800 people a day speeding through the town, that’s  a tremendous amount of people, if that’s not enough to qualify for a 20 mph zone then what speeding issue is?”





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