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Wick concern over 'shambolic' roll-out of 20 mph signs

By Alan Hendry

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Highland Council is introducing 20 mph speed limit zones across the region.
Highland Council is introducing 20 mph speed limit zones across the region.

A Wick community councillor has voiced concern over the "shambolic" introduction of 20 mph speed limit signs on many local roads.

Vice-chairman Allan Bruce pointed out that motorists can encounter 30 mph and 20 mph signs in close proximity on the same street.

"I've had quite a lot of folk coming to me about the shambolic roll-out of the 20 mph speed limit," he said at Monday's monthly meeting of the Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council.

"You come into Wick and it's 30, and before you go 20 feet you're seeing a 20 mph sign.

"The signage is one part of it. Pardon the pun but I'd like to see another drive being made by Highland Council about why it's being done."

Highland Council leader Raymond Bremner pointed out that in due course "the whole town will be 20" but gateway signs are continuing to display a 30 limit.

Councillor Bremner, who represents the Wick and East Caithness ward, explained that the matter is being handled by different local authority departments covering Safer Routes to School, active travel and lighting. He said he had requested an update that day.

"The gateway signs have still to be changed to 20 but they will be changed, and it will be 20 throughout an urban or a built-up area," Councillor Bremner said. "It's not just Wick and some of the villages, it's right across the Highlands.

"Then you've got the other signs that campaign groups have put up and they're saying 30, and they're showing you a smiley face when you're actually breaking the speed limit."

The Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party's Shared Policy Programme published in 2021 includes a commitment that "all appropriate roads in built-up areas will have a safer speed limit of 20 mph by 2025".

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