Proposals for 20mph trial in Dunbar

East Lothian Council and Sustaining Dunbar are committed to making Dunbar a safer, more pleasant place to walk and cycle. To work towards this, a public consultation will be held throughout October on a proposal to introduce a trial 20 mph speed limit on residential roads in Dunbar, south of the East Coast Mainline Railway.

If you live in the proposed trial area, you should have received an information leaflet and questionnaire about the trial. A display board about 20mph speed limits and the proposals for Dunbar will be available to view at the Bleachingfield Centre, Countess Crescent, from 2nd October to 31st October.

Your views are important; the trial will only go ahead if the majority of residents are in favour of it.

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7 Responses to Proposals for 20mph trial in Dunbar

  1. Sandy Mitchell says:

    Hi, How are you going to ensure that the survey is accurately collated? Will there be any independent verification of the data? You say it will only go ahead if the majority of residents are in favour. Does this mean a majority of the residents who reply or an overall majority based on the number of households? In other words, how will you treat non- responses. I look forward to your reply.

    • Morag says:

      Hi Sandy,
      We probably should have said ‘the majority of respondents’. Thanks for pointing this out, as we can try to be more precise in future. It is difficult to collect the views of all residents, but we have delivered leaflets to everyone who lives in the trial area as these will be the people directly affected and we would hope that they take the opportunity to reply. Obviously everyone else in Dunbar can respond online or by post. We will collect the responses and count them ourselves, but they will be available at the Sustaining Dunbar office should anyone wish to check them. Please contact me directly on if you are interested in doing this.

      It is important to note that this consultation is about whether or not a trial goes ahead. If it does, then it will be monitored to see whether there is an impact on driver/cyclist/pedestrian behaviour. If it is deemed to be unsuccessful then Sustaining Dunbar will have to look at other ways of making life safer and more attractive for cyclists and pedestrians. For me personally, it seems like lower speed limits would be an easy and cheap option, not requiring speed humps or any major infrastructure changes. Morag

  2. Sandy Mitchell says:

    Thanks for your reply and for clarifying what a majority means. I think your leaflet should have made it clear that a non-response is, in effect, a positive vote. If you have a high proportion of non-respondents then it seems to me you will lack a proper mandate – although I don’t expect yourself or the Council will agree. Could you let me know, please, who is the Council contact for this project?



    • Morag says:

      Respondents have the chance to state their views either way, so non-response indicates a neutral stance. The main council contact would be Councillor Michael Veitch who has responsibility for transport, but you could contact any of your local councillors about this.

  3. Jeff Saunderson says:


    I have a few question I’d appreciate clear answers to, if you’d care to oblige.

    1) How long will this trial last?

    2)Will the trial end on a specific date and normal speed restrictions return or, as is so often the case in such ‘trials’, the temporary conditions become permanent without regard to consultation feedback or public opinion?

    3)How will the trial speed limits be enforced in law, in practice, and at what additional expense to local policing?

    4)What costs are involved to the public purse (including public subsidy of your ‘charitable status’) to investigate, set up, legislate, enforce and implement this scheme?

    5) What empirical LOCAL evidence do you have to support your proposal, including but not exclusively; accident figures, accident outcomes, records of speeding offences, traffic patterns and road usage, environmental noise complaints, estimated journey times, traffic impact on surrounding localities, air pollution levels etc (and please don’t quote studies from your vested interest website … I’m looking for LOCAL empirical evidence, …. afterall it’s LOCAL lives you’ll be affecting.)

    6) Aside from providing you and your group with further income from the public purse, what tangible benefits will the local community reap for the considerable expense of indulging you and your scheme, that they do not already possess with the current legislation and restrictions, specifically the Road Traffic Act and the offense of dangerous driving which explicity covers driving at excessive speed for road conditions?

    I, and many others look forward to your answers.

    • Morag says:

      1) The trial will last for one year, but it will only go ahead if the the majority of respondents to the survey are in support of it.

      2)There are two criteria for the success of the trial: A. a measurable change in driver behaviour and B. an increase in the number of people cycling in the area.

      I hope you will appreciate that we are currently consulting over whether a trial should go ahead, so there is plenty of opportunity for people to have their say, as well as to collect data. Please do remember to participate in the consultation by returning the initial survey form, as we are keen to register the views of as many local people as possible. There will be a similar survey towards the end of the trial to measure its reception, as well as the speed monitoring being carried out by the Council. The results will be made public and the decision will be made by the Council about whether it should be made permanent.

      3)I am not aware that there will be any extra expense to policing as it will be policed to the same extent as any other speed limit

      4)The trial is being run and monitored by East Lothian Council, so this is a question you will have to direct to them. Sustaining Dunbar’s involvement is to help out with public consultation and general awareness-raising, and we will be doing cycle counts before, during and after the trial. This will take a fraction of our staff time which is currently funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund. It is important to note that the Government has committed to spending this money on local initiatives around the country to reduce carbon emissions and Sustaining Dunbar worked hard to bring the money here, ensuring that Dunbar rather than elsewhere can benefit from these public funds.

      5) There are not a great deal of local statistics as fortunately there are very few road traffic incidents in Dunbar, but you can see the recent data collected here . We know from our own surveys that one of the reasons people do not cycle more is due to the perception that the roads are dangerous places for bikes. As we are funded to increase the number of local journeys made by bike, it made sense to us to lobby for lower speed limits. The trial is designed to collect the local evidence you are asking for. That’s why it’s a trial; if it doesn’t work, we will have to look at other ways of making the roads feel safer for cyclists.

      6)This trial provides us with no extra income; why did you think it might? As for tangible benefits, I am confident that many local people will appreciate quieter streets and conditions that feel safer for cycling and walking, providing us all with more opportunities to build exercise into our daily lives.

      It is good to hear that people are interested in the proposed trial, and I would encourage you all to fill in the survey forms so that we can take everyone’s views into account.


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