Brakes put on town 20mph proposal
Councillors have put the brakes on plans to consult on a 20mph speed limit along part of Lerwick’s town centre.
The environment and transport committee voted four to three to hold back on seeking feedback on the idea of introducing the lower limit with traffic calming measures.
A report by roads engineer Colin Gair recommended consulting the public on reducing the 30mph limit from the North Ness roundabout to the top of Church Road.
It also advocated examining the installation of zebra crossings as replacements for troublesome pelican crossings, which have been faulty in recent months.
Officials say the rate of accidents in the area is higher than the national average, at around two a year.
Some members were concerned by the cost of introducing the scheme – estimated to at between £100,000 and £150,000 – at a time when the council is tightening its belt.
That was despite claims the overall running costs would reduce if crossings were replaced.
Chairman Allan Wishart moved consultation be approved, and called for the matter to be brought back to the committee.
He said he did not want the authority to be seen as “a dithering council” that could not even make a decision to go to consultation.
But Robert Henderson won with his last-minute amendment to postpone a decision until the next cycle.
He called for more information to be brought about an overall approach which could look at the whole of Lerwick.
Seeking feedback on the timing of accidents over the last 12 years, the North Isles member also called for information on what the council’s legal obligations were and whether it could potentially throw out the proposals.
That came after hearing officials had delegated authority to proceed directly to consultation. It had only come to committee because of objections the move could potentially result in.