MSPs from the north-east have expressed concern about the cost of introducing 20mph speed limits in towns and villages, claiming it will cost Aberdeenshire Council £500,000.
Maureen Watt, SNP MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, questioned the official cost estimates of the policy proposed in Safer Streets members’ bill proposed by Green MSP Mark Ruskell.
Ms Watt said the official memorandum estimated that the cost to local authorities would be up to £10 million in the first two years.
At a meeting of Holyrood’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, Ms Watt pointed out that Aberdeenshire Council had made a submission suggesting it would cost the local authority £500,000.
She pointed out that if the same figure was replicated in all 32 of Scotland’s councils, the total would come to £16 million.
Earlier, Lib Dem North East MSP Mike Rumbles had raised similar fears. Mr Rumbles said a “technical briefing” given to MSPs suggested that “every village” would need new speed limit signs.
“Every single one of them is going to have signage put up to say that this is a 20 mph road. The cost to Aberdeenshire Council alone will run into I don’t know how much,” Mr Rumbles said.
Stuart Hay, director of Living Streets Scotland, which is campaigning for the new limit, said: “This will affect different local authorities differently. Some local authorities will see a saving if they have a programme already. For local authorities that haven’t done anything it is going to cost them a lot more money in the short term to do this.”
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Given the varied nature of Scotland’s urban road network and the number of factors which need considered when setting appropriate limits, we believe decisions on 20mph speed limits are best taken at the local authority level.”