Govt to cut speed limits in town and country as part of 10-year project to reduce road deaths Plans to drop speed limits to 20mph in some areas of towns, and from 60mph to 50mph on single-carriageway country roads, are on their way.
Transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick is to announce the go-slow as part of a 10-year Government push to reduce road deaths. Fatalities are at record lows, even though UK roads are busier than ever. In 2007, the number killed on Britain’s roads fell below 3000 for the first time.
However, the aim is to cut road deaths by a further 40% with a deadline of 2020. Road safety researchers say that pedestrians run a one in five risk of dying if they are hit by a car travelling at 30mph. Cut speeds to 20mph, and the death rate drops to one in 40.
Some cities already have 20mph limits, including Leeds, Newcastle, Portsmouth and Oxford. These are usually around schools and in quiet residential areas. Elsewhere in Europe, similar limits are already common: many French villages operate strict 30 kilometer per hour limits.
At the same time, the UK is planning to tighten the driving test procedure by making the practical test tougher and also by improving the standard and scope of the theory tests.