Highland Council 20mph Programme Update - 116 villages and towns within Highland
15th March 2023
The Highland Council is pleased to announce that the work to design the 20mph speed limit programme for Highland has progressed to a stage were the plans for the locations included in the programme can be viewed by the public.
This extensive piece of work currently incorporates 116 villages and towns within Highland and is fully funded by Transport Scotland.
Chair of the Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Ken Gowans said: "Reducing speed on our roads helps to create a safer, more pleasant, environment, encouraging people to walk, wheel and cycle and enjoy spending time in their communities. In addition, it is expected that environmental and air quality benefits will be realised if safer road conditions result in increased levels of walking and cycling.
"The road safety benefits will be felt in each one of these 116 communities with their residents. including children accessing schools and play spaces and pedestrians and cyclists accessing local amenities, including shops local community centres etc doing so in a safer and more pleasant road environment."
The new limit extents for each area can be viewed online on the Highland Council website by selecting www.highland.gov.uk/20mph then the location in question.
The next stage in the delivery of the programme is the timetabling of the works required to introduce the new speed limits in the areas listed and this is ongoing with the first delivery date expected for June 2023.
The ‘Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party Shared Policy Programme' published on 1 September 2021 includes the commitment that all appropriate roads in built up areas will have a safer speed limit of 20mph by 2025.
This National Strategy for 20mph speed limits aims to expand 20mph speed limits across Scotland and ensure all appropriate roads in built-up areas have a safer speed limit of 20mph by 2025.
The strategy seeks to introduce a consistency for 20mph speed limits across the country, simplifying speed limits for drivers.
It seeks to reduce perceptions of road danger, encourage people to walk and wheel, and create more pleasant streets and neighbourhoods by providing a more equitable balance between different road users and will contribute to the implementation of the safe system.
For information on all the villages with maps and more details go HERE
Highland councillors will meet on 29th February 2024 to agree the proposals set out in the papers published today. There has been a long period of public consultation on the proposals and although there are unpalatable suggestions they will balance the books.
Over £100m investment programme proposed as part of 3-year budget Highland council are about to use significant amounts of reserves to cover shortfalls in the budget for 24/25 and possibly 25/26. Despite pushing out big figures it disguises the cuts about to fall on Highland services.
A collaborative network of Head Teachers and Education Officers are working closely together with the goal of improving attainment and achievement in Highland primary schools. Cllr John Finlayson, Education Chair said: "It is essential that we have strong, consultation and communication strategies in place and there is effective and ongoing collaboration between our schools and our central education service.
The Highland Council is currently unable to confirm whether funding will be available to support the Wick-Aberdeen Public Service Obligation (PSO) after 31st March 2024. The funding for the PSO is currently provided on the basis of £1.3m annually, with £1m committed by the Scottish Government and £0.3m committed by The Highland Council.
The Chair of The Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee has announced that a 3-week trial of a thermal process for pothole repairs will be taking place. An external contractor, Thermal Road Repairs, has been appointed to undertake the trial before the end of the 2023/24 financial year.
Caithness Committee Members today (Monday 29 January 2024) considered and assessed applications submitted to the area's Community Regeneration Fund. Community Regeneration Funding is an umbrella term for a number of funds that are available for communities/organisations to access in Highland.
The Council at the Caithness Area Committee agree the roads budget for 2024/25 with exactly the same amount as for 2023/24. Clearly with rapidly increasing costs this will come nowhere near to maintaining the roads to even the poor condition they are now in.
A briefing has been provided to all members of the Council on an accounting flexibility introduced by Scottish Government and available to Councils to utilise in 2022/23 or 2023/24. A number of reports to Council in recent months have covered this topic, and a number of other Councils have utilised the flexibility in 2022/23 or are considering doing so in 2023/24.
The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time. It is not intended to imply that any individual route is entirely snow and ice free and drivers must be aware that conditions can change rapidly and make their own assessment of conditions for travelling.
Weather is still hitting school transport services around the county. Wick Unfortunately we have made the decision to close the school tomorrow, Friday 19th January, due to the ongoing snowfall and hazardous road conditions.