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OS helps introduce 20mph speed limit in Edinburgh

Cutting speed limits in urban areas reduces the risk of road deaths. It also improves pedestrian safety and encourages drivers to choose other travel options.

Overview

Cutting speed limits in urban areas reduces the risk of road deaths. It also improves pedestrian safety and encourages drivers to choose other travel options.

In this case study we’ll see how Edinburgh Council used Ordnance Survey (OS) mapping data to help build the case for a 20mph speed limit, and ultimately safer roads. 

The logistical challenges

The City of Edinburgh is rolling out a £2 million programme of 20mph speed limits for city centre roads – a first for Scotland.

However, the project comes with some clear logistical challenges:

  • This hasn’t been tried before on such a scale in Scotland.
  • Choosing the roads where the 20mph speed limit should apply.
  • Informing decision makers and the public about the new lower limits.

The solution

Edinburgh City Council used OS mapping data, free through the One Scotland Mapping Agreement (OSMA), to create visuals for a major public consultation. This let citizens of Edinburgh give their views alongside key stakeholders such as Lothian Buses and Police Scotland.

"During the consultation, we had to add a new server to cope with public demand on the 20mph web application. The high-quality OS mapping underpinning the 20mph routes clearly helped maximise the reach of the consultation."
Mike Bell, Data Manager, City Of Edinburgh Council.

With a positive response from the consultation, councillors approved the project. During its delivery over the next two years, the council will use a web map and other supporting materials to keep stakeholders informed.

The benefits

  • Mapping products used to support the consultation programme – the first of its kind in Scotland.
  • Easy-to-understand maps, with accurate spatial information, helped generate a positive response to the public consultation.
  • The council can update maps to keep stakeholders informed during the roll out.

From 1 April 2020, the One Scotland Mapping Agreement (OSMA), was superseded by the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA).

Related products

OS MasterMap Topography Layer

OS MasterMap Topography Layer® is the most detailed and accurate view of Great Britain's landscape – from roads to fields, to buildings and trees, fences, paths and more.

OS VectorMap Local

A highly-detailed, customisable, street-level map, OS VectorMap Local® shows fences, building outlines, paths and street names, for the accurate lie of the land.