A MANDATORY 20mph speed limit comes into force across Glasgow city centre next week.

It will not be covered by cameras but will be enforced by police, the city council said.

The zone is bound by the south bank of the Clyde, Newton Street, West Graham Street, Cowcaddens Road, North Hanover Street, Cathedral Street and High Street.

Commuter routes such as Paisley Road West, Great Western Road, Springburn Road, London Road, Victoria Road and Eglinton Street are not affected.

The decision follows a six-week public consultation last year when 69 per cent of those who responded were in favour of drivers being forced to cut their speed.

A council spokeswoman said 20mph warning signs have gone up at 24 entry and 26 exit points, and there are new road markings.

The new limit comes into effect from Monday.

Elaine McDougall, the city council's transport, environment and sustainability spokeswoman, said: "The primary motivation is to improve safety and make the city centre a better place to be.

"The number of people entering the city centre has risen significantly and by reducing the speed of vehicles we reduce the risk and severity of accidents. It will also contribute to a better city centre environment, smoother traffic flows and improved air quality and will be more encouraging for cyclists and pedestrians."

Last year, a speed survey carried out in the area covered by the new city centre zone recorded an average speed of 22.6mph.

In 2009, Glasgow's Health Commission reported that the introduction of 20mph zones, particularly near schools, would reduce road casualties.

As a result, the council introduced the first phase of its mandatory 20mph zones in 2011. In total, 65 residential areas now have 20mph zones, covering more than 100 miles, or roughly 12 per cent, of unclassified roads in the city.

Neil Greig, of the IAM motoring organisation, has questioned the need for the new lower city centre zone.

He said: "I am not surprised Glasgow is doing this as there is money available from the Scottish Government and Edinburgh has done it on a much wider basis.

"You have to ask how much difference will it really make [as] it covers the busiest central portion of Glasgow where traffic speed is pretty low anyway."

Chief Inspector Mark Sutherland, city centre police commander, said the introduction of the 20mph speed limit was intended to be largely self-enforcing with motorists reducing their speed to comply with the new limit.

He added: "Police Scotland will continue, as is routine, to police the road network, enforce road traffic legislation, educate road users and provide assistance where necessary.

"As always, our central message is to encourage the public to drive respectfully and responsibly to ensure all road users’ safety – no matter what the speed limit."