Speed limits could be cut on rural roadsGovernment considering new 50mph limit

09 March 2009

Speed limits on rural roads could be cut to 50mph

Speed limits on rural roads could be cut to 50mph

The Government is considering cutting speed limits on most rural single-carriageway roads from 60mph to 50mph, it has been revealed.

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Ministers believe the potentially unpopular move may be needed to cut the number of deaths among motorists and pedestrians.

But the AA warned that there should be no 'blanket' reduction, and instead called for a 'targeted approach'.

New speed limits

Currently the speed limit on almost all single carriageway roads outside of towns is set at 60mph, except for at accident blackspots.

However, road safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick is said to have been struck by figures showing that these parts of the network were more prone to crashes.

Mr Fitzpatrick is looking at reducing limits in a bid to improve the UK's road safety record, which used to rank among the best in the world, but has slipped in recent years.

Road deaths

In 2007 there were 2,946 deaths and 30,000 serious injuries on British roads, with speed being a factor in 29% of them.

The Government has brought forward a range of proposals to try and boost safety, including imposing six penalty points on motorists who break speed limits 'excessively', and punishments for using mobile phones while driving.

There are also suggestions that a formal 'drug-drive limit' could be introduced, after statistics showed a fifth of all road deaths were caused by drivers on illegal substances.

© 2009 The Press Association


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