MSPs have rejected proposals to reduce the speed limit on restricted roads in Scotland from 30mph to 20mph.

A Bill which aimed to set a default limit of 20mph, put forward by Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell, was voted down by 26 to 83, with four abstentions at Holyrood yesterday.

Ruskell had warned that keeping the limit at 30mph would continue to cause death and injury, as he urged MSPs to back the proposals. “We know that the current blanket 30mph limit will continue to kill, to maim and to destroy lives, and that’s a fact that every MSP must think on when they choose which way to vote on this Bill,” he said. “If this Government wants Scotland to be the best place for children to grow up, then prove it – make their streets safer places to play, walk and cycle.”

The Bill had been under consideration by the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee.

However in its report, the Committee concluded that although it approved of the general aims of the Bill, it could not recommend a “one size fits all” policy for lowering speed limits.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson told MSPs that the Scottish Government is supportive of efforts to create safer roads, but said: “I remain convinced that local authorities are best placed to make local decisions based on their local knowledge and evidence on where 20 mph speed limits should be implemented.”