‘Ridiculous’: Jacob Rees-Mogg slams 20mph speed limits for ‘obstructing flow of traffic’

UK motorways: Highways England warns drivers of speed limits

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The Conservative MP for North East Somerset denounced plans to introduce 20mph speed limits in a number of villages, including in West Harptree, where Jacob Rees-Mogg lives. The Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency said drivers should be able to live their own lives, referencing the speed limits.

He said: “Twenty-mile-an-hour limits are ridiculous.

“They simply obstruct the flow of traffic.

“People are in favour of them when they are proposed, and later realise how annoying they are.

“It’s a microcosm of politics generally: opinion polls suggest something would be popular and once you put it into practice it isn’t.

“People should be free to lead their own lives as far as possible without Government interference,” he told the Sunday Times Magazine.

In February, Transport for London made a major announcement that it would introduce new 20mph speed limits on four roads around London.

It hopes to expand this project to 127 miles of road to have a 20mph speed limit by 2024.

Currently, around 50 miles of road in London are under a 20mph limit.

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TfL said they wanted to “ensure the safety of Londoners and visitors” by implementing lower speed limits on the road network.

It added that pedestrians and cyclists are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured if hit at 30mph rather than 20mph or less.

Areas where 20mph speed limits or 20mph zones are in place have a reported reduction in the number of pedestrian injuries as well as traffic volumes.

These zones will often have traffic calming measures including narrowing the road and utilising speed bumps.

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Those opposed to these areas with lower speed limits argue that it damages vehicle suspension by repeatedly going over speed bumps, as well as delayed emergency service response times.

By April 2023, most national speed limits in Wales are set to be slashed to 20mph, in a change described as “necessary”.

The plans will apply to all roads where street lights are not more than 200 yards apart – usually seen in residential and built-up areas – where the default speed limit is 30mph.

This comes as TV presenter Giles Coren admitted he had been caught driving at 25mph on Kentish Town Road in London, which has a 20mph speed limit.

Speaking about the incident, he said: “If you cannot imagine what a speed such as 25mph might look or feel like.

“I invite you to recall, at the age of eight or nine, pedalling your new three-speed Raleigh Grifter down a hill.

“That would have been about 25mph.

“When Florence Griffith-Joyner ran the 100 metres in 10.49 seconds at the US Olympic trials in 1988, she averaged 23.5mph, meaning that around the 60 to 70 metre mark she was doing about 27 or 28mph.

“Horrendous to think, isn’t it, that I was driving my car very nearly as fast as a woman can run?”

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