Rural speed limits may be changed as new proposals suggest replacing 60mph roads

UK motorways: Highways England warns drivers of speed limits

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The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) is calling for the adoption of the 2019 Department for Transport Safe System approach to be adopted to manage road speed, rather than national speed limits. ADEPT said the 60mph speed limit was a particular cause for concern, with most fatalities occurring on rural single carriageways.

The Safe System approach adopts five key elements: safe road use, safe speeds, safe vehicles, post-crash care and safe roads and roadsides.

ADEPT argues that using this system to set road speed would encourage safer driving, as local highways authorities (LHAs) would have the ability to set an appropriate speed.

The new policy position also calls for providing local highways authorities with longer-term funding certainty to implement speed management changes and make road safety improvements.

It is also calling for the development of a speed management toolkit to enable greater uniformity across LHAs and provide more consistency for drivers.

ADEPT said in order to support a reduction in deaths and injuries on roads in the UK, there is a need for greater consistency between LHAs on the deployments of speed management measures.

To do this, it argues the Government should provide clearer guidance on the setting of speed limits.

The report states: “Any reduction in the default speed on roads in urban areas from 30mph to 20mph must be evidence led.

“To avoid confusion amongst motorists, any change must be rolled out nationally, rather than by individual LHAs.

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“A safe system approach to speed management must be adopted. 

“National speed limits provide a useful starting point, but speed limits must be determined by a road’s function.”

Surrey County Council are already working to establish more appropriate speed limits on roads across the county.

It is hoped this scheme will be relevant to other LHAs who are considering rural speed limit reductions and will look at a range of measures including compliance, casualty rates, speed and traffic flow.

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