Centre lines to be removed from some East Lothian roads as part of safety trial

Monday January 15th 2024

Queens Road, Dunbar

Queens Road, Dunbar, will have central lines removed as part of the trial.


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Central lines on roads across communities in East Lothian are to be removed as part of a road safety study being carried out by a university.

Nine roads have been chosen to take part in the trial by the University of the West of England with plans to remove the central lines from six and use the other three as controls.

A report to elected members says the project aims to add to international evidence that suggests taking away the lines helps reduce the speed of motorised traffic on the roads and improves the safety of the road network for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as other road users.

The report says: “Following trials during the Covid pandemic, the council permanently lowered speed limits in towns and villages across the county in 2022.

“However, it currently continues to use centre lines to delineate bilateral traffic flow on roads with speed limits of 30mph and lower, despite international evidence that removing these may also have a significant effect on lowering traffic speeds.”

It adds that the university will lead the trial working with the council’s road services saying removing the lines is a ‘low-cost intervention’ which could reduce speeds on roads.

It says: “A frequent refrain from residents is that they support 20mph speed limits but they are doubtful as to its effectiveness without routine traffic policing.

“In the absence of a significant increase in traffic policing, central line removal might be an important tool, especially in supporting wider efforts to increase active travel.”

Roads included in the trial which will have lines removed are: Clayknowes Road, Musselburgh; Dirleton Avenue, North Berwick; Queens Road, Dunbar; Avenue Road, Cockenzie; Stoneybank Terrace, Musselburgh; and Tantallon Road, North Berwick.

Ravensheugh Road, Musselburgh, West Loan, Prestonpans, and West Road, Haddington, will be used as controls for the trials

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