Calls for more 20mph limits in residential areas of Aberdeen have been dismissed after leading councillors claimed it could lead unrealistic expectations they would be policed.
Councillors last week agreed a five-year plan for active travel routes in the Granite City, including a new ‘Dutch style’ cyclist-first junction in King Street to replace the roundabout at the bottom of St Machar Drive.
Permanent bike lanes are also being considered for the length of King Street and Queens Road, while there could be new car-free bridges of both Aberdeen rivers.
Also within the proposals was the stated ambition to roll out further 20mph zones in built up areas.
The Hazlehead, Queens Cross and Countesswells member told the city growth committee: “I have been struggling to get some of the advisory ’20’s plenty’ signs in Angusfield Avenue and Woodend Crescent repainted.
“The signs on the road are so faded they are almost illegible and when I have tried to get them repainted the answer I get is that there is no money in the budget.
“So if we have a plan that says ‘let’s increase the number of areas where there is a 20mph limit’, how are we going to do that if we can’t even maintain the ones we have?
“What I am asking for here is for officers to look into what it costs us to maintain existing areas and what it might cost us to extend into other residential areas where there are none at present.”
Suggesting the work could be included in the budget for the year after next, opposition councillors expressed hope new Scottish Government schemes could help cover the cost.
But city growth convener, council co-leader Douglas Lumsden, claimed it was creating too much work for already stretched council officers.
The Conservative said: “It is a huge report and a huge amount of work has been put into this, so I am happy to agree the way forward put forward to us.
“You are not proposing this would be in your budget in a few week’s time but if it’s a big concern, why not?
“If this really is a big issue for you, then we will look forward to seeing it in your budget in March.”
Claims Aberdeen’s existing 20mph zones not policed
Marie Boulton, leader of the independent alliance, which works in coalition administration with the Tories and Aberdeen Labour, said more 20mph zones should not be introduced as the existing ones are not enforced.
She said: “The big problem is 20mph zones give residents an expectation it will be policed – and unfortunately it’s not.
“You can tell people to drive at 20mph and hopefully they will reduce their speed from 30 or 40mph.
“We need to make sure we can manage what we’ve got before we introduce more.”
Mr Cooke’s calls – which he said he thought would prove “non-controversial” – were defeated by five administration votes to four.