Govt may cut speed limit from 60mph to 50mph to improve UK's worsening safety record.

Speed limits on many rural roads could be reduced from 60mph to 50mph, if government plans take shape. The thinking is that the move – which will apply to single-carriageway roads – is needed to reduce deaths and injuries among drivers and pedestrians.

In 2007 there were just under 3000 deaths and 30,000 serious injuries on British roads, and speed played a part in almost a third of them.

For now, speed limits outside towns and cities are set at 60mph on most single-carriageway roads. However, road safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick believes that reducing speed limits here will have a real effect on road casualties. The UK’s road safety record, once among the best in the world, has slipped in recent years.

The Automobile Association has supported the idea, but director Edmund King says he would rather see a ‘targeted approach’ rather than a blanket of change.

The Department for Transport said a speed cut is being looked at, but no decision is expected soon.

Stephen Jury


March 9, 2009