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Government reveal low speed plans

Lower speed limits


Lower speed limits on 60mph single-carriageway rural roads and a target to reduce annual road deaths by a third by 2020 were among road safety plans proposed by the Government today.

Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick also said the Government was recommending 20mph speed limits "in all streets which are primarily residential in nature".

In addition, the Government is proposing to annually publish maps highlighting the main roads with the poorest safety records to encourage an improvement in standards.

It will be up to council highway authorities whether they reduce the 60mph - probably to 50mph.

This would be done "where risks are relatively high and there is evidence that a lower limit would significantly reduce casualties".

Mr Fitzpatrick said: "Our current strategy has improved road safety significantly, reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries by 36% over the last decade, but eight deaths a day is still intolerable and we want to make our roads safer still.

Philip Gomm, of the RAC Foundation, said: "Local authorities already have the powers to regulate the speeds on their roads and we welcome the Government's proposal to leave the final decision with them while at the same time providing councils with better road/risk analysis on which to base their decisions."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Stephen Nye from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "These proposals are to be welcomed. Excess speed is the most common causative factor in road crashes and consequently causes many deaths and serious injuries which could otherwise have been avoided.

"If the new proposals can be implemented by local authorities our roads should become much safer as drivers adjust their average speeds. Having represented many families who have lost loved ones or who have had someone close to them severely injured in road crashes, I know what a huge difference these changes are likely to make to others in the future."