Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy

Lower speed limits ‘will deface the countryside’

Campaigners warn against 'distracting' road signs

Rural speed limits could drop to 50mph

Rural speed limits could drop to 50mph

Lowering speed limits on rural roads could ‘deface the countryside’, distract drivers and cost up to £300m, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said on Wednesday.

For the latest news and deals, sign up to the Which? Car email

Enforcing lower limits would require as many as a million new signposts in the countryside, the CPRE added, as so-called ‘repeaters’ are supposed to appear every 300 yards or so to remind drivers of the limit.

The government has so far decided against a blanket reduction in the national speed limit, but it is encouraging local authorities to consider introducing lower limits.

Speed limit signs

CPRE senior transport campaigner Ralph Smyth said: ‘After deciding against a blanket 50mph national speed limit, the government wants to encourage local authorities to consider introducing lower speed limits locally, which require repeater signs about every 300 yards.

‘But it has not thought through the national costs and implications. Its piecemeal plans could require a million repeater speed limit signs that would deface the countryside and distract drivers while costing £300m.’

The CPRE said it preferred to see a reduction in the national speed limit for rural single-carriageway roads to 50mph, with local authorities being given discretion to keep their safest roads at 60mph. The campaign added that it wanted to see powers to introduce 40mph zones on minor rural roads, based on the success of 20mph zones on residential roads.

Lower limits

Earlier this month a poll found 83% of British drivers opposed plans to cut the national speed limit. But the Department for Transport said a 10mph drop could save around 250 lives a year.

For more on speed limits and dealing with speeding tickets, visit our cars advice pages. You’ll find tips on everything from buying a new car to finding the cheapest fuel.


Which? Car on Twitter

Follow Which? Car on Twitter

The Which? Car team is on Twitter, to offer you help and advice as and when you need it.

We’re monitoring our Twitter account every day, so if you have an account, please send us you thoughts and questions to @whichcar.

Don’t worry if you haven’t got a Twitter account – you can still stay in the loop by regularly checking www.twitter.com/whichcar.

Back to top