Campaign: Thrill-seekers strive to kill Lomond speed limit

Over the past year the presence of speeding jet-skis and powerboats has split the Loch Lomond community.

Campaign Say No to 7mph
Client Fairplay Loch Lomond
PR team Fenella Taylor PR
Timescale July 2005-ongoing
Budget None

A clash between pro- and anti-speed lobbies was sparked last July, when Loch Lomond authorities proposed a 7mph limit, even in areas with an existing 50mph limit.

The Fairplay Loch Lomond group was set up to campaign against the proposal, and hired Fenella Taylor PR.

Objectives
To gain signatures for a petition opposing the limit. To ensure the proposals did not become law.

Strategy and Plan
Keen loch user Fenella Taylor handled the campaign on a pro bono basis, targeting SMPs and National Park Board members, as well as tourists and local businesses. An anti-speed reduction petition was distributed, and local news crews and journalists were taken onto the loch to illustrate how a lower speed limit would curb fun activities such as waterskiing.

In September 2005, four young members of the Loch Lomond Water Skiing Association took part in a
photocall, skiing with anti-speed-limit banners (competition waterskiers need a minimum speed of 25mph).

December saw a peaceful protest outside the National Park Board's HQ. In May, the petition was delivered to the Scottish Parliament.

Measurement and Evaluation
The campaign received significant coverage throughout Scotland on TV and radio. Two major newspapers, The Scotsman and The Herald, both covered the story, as did many regionals, such as the Stirling Observer.

Results
A final decision on the proposed limit now rests with the Scottish Executive, but the media campaign can already point to some successes. Around 1,500 signatures were obtained for the petition, and the National Park Board has amended its plan to cover a smaller area of the loch.

The Scotsman deputy arts editor Roger Cox says: ‘It was slightly off my usual beat, but this wasn't a cut and dried story. It was more an argument about what kind of place Loch Lomond should be: either nice and tranquil, or somewhere for the rich to go with their jet-skis and waterskis. It was aesthetics versus economics.'

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