Small Increase to Burntisland’s 30 Mph Area

Today’s Kirkcaldy Area Committee is due to consider a proposal to move the 30 mph signs 66 metres further away from the school along Cowdenbeath Road.

Extract from report

2.1 There have been a few requests from concerned residents in the area regarding the speed of traffic past the houses at Craig Court and Binn Avenue.

2.2 The existing speed limit gateway on Cowdenbeath Road has potential for some improvement to make the gateway more conspicuous and improve speed compliance.

2.3 Concerns have been raised regarding the volume and speed of large goods vehicles (LGVs). LGVs constitute approximately 13% of total traffic which is expected given the nature of the local businesses that operate in Burntisland. The downward slope of Cowdenbeath Road on approach to the town may also contribute to speeds on entry into the town. A speed survey will be requested post speed limit extension which will also be forwarded to the Police for their consideration in terms of enforcement.

It’s perhaps surprising that this short section isn’t already 30 mph as it has street lights – a requirement for a 30 mph (or lower) limit.

Councillors should now consider speed limits in and around Burntisland. There are few 20 mph areas within the town. By contrast the main road through Kinghorn is 20 mph.

One of Burntisland’s List MSPs, Mark Ruskell, campaigns for lower speeds and has introduced a bill in the Scottish Parliament.

The roads from Kinghorn have 40 mph limits until they reach the town near the Kingswood and Golf Club.

The roads from Aberdour and Cowdenbeath have the national speed limits (“the speed limit is the absolute maximum – it doesn’t mean it’s safe to drive at this speed in all conditions.“) until they meet the 30 mph signs.

This means it’s perfectly legal to drive at up to 60mph along the road past Grange Farm and the new housing development started by Deveron Homes.

The pavement there is narrow and unpleasant to walk on. People have to go this way, and cross the road, to get to the path to Binn Pond.

Road (and pedestrian) safety would be improved if this section was 40 mph. It would make sense if the limit started before Kilmundy Steadings. There are already warning signs, so a lower speed limit would seem to be justified.

There is DfT guidance for setting local speed limits.

And more advice on traffic calming (as seen at Kinghorn) –

3.4.3 According to the traffic calming regulations, the following self-enforcing measures are allowed on 40 mph limit roads: rumble devices, build-outs, chicanes, pinch points, narrowings, islands, pedestrian refuges, gateways and roundabouts (see Sections 5 to 8). However, for some of these features (such as chicanes) careful planning is required to ensure a safe and effective scheme.

Although the road has a 40 mph limit, crossing by the Golf Club to reach the path to the Binn is far from ideal. It’s a real concern for Burntisland Primary School teachers. As a result they only take small numbers of older pupils to visit the woodlands – infrequently.

In Edinburgh, some traffic calming measures have been shown to have a significant effect- “100mm high sinusoidal asphalt humps (Figure 1) have been installed on residential roads in The Grange area. Speeds have been reduced to values similar to that for round top humps. The original mean speed of 33 mph has gone down to 15.5 mph at the humps, and 22 mph between humps spaced 100m apart.

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