Growing opposition to UK 50mph speed limit plan

Published: 08 June 2009

Opposition to the UK Government’s plan to lower the national speed limit from 60 to 50mph is gathering momentum. Almost 34,000 people have now signed a petition on the Number 10 website urging the Government to ‘not reduce the national speed limit to 50mph.’ 

It’s become the second most popular petition on the site – ahead of similar bids to stop the Government raising university tuition fees and beaten only by one calling for Gordon Brown to resign as prime minister.

Cutting the UK’s national speed limits from 60mph to 50mph: the background

Back in March 2009, plans were announced that the Government wanted to cut the national speed limit from 60mph to 50mph on single carriageways in rural areas. In urban areas, some 30mph limits could drop to 20mph.

If steamrollered through, the sweeping change to Britain’s speed limits could be enforced from 2010. Ministers claim it’s an attempt to lower the number of accidents on our roads, but campaigners counter it’s a revenue raising scam – with plans for more average speed cameras potentially raising millions in speeding fines.

More reaction to the Government’s 50mph speed limit plan

It’s not just the official Number 10 website where trouble’s brewing. A recent CAR Online poll showed a similar dissatisfaction among our regulars. An overwhelming 62% of you thought the 60mph limit should remain in force on rural roads, 31% said the limit should be raised and only 7% backed the Government’s plan.

The Association of British Drivers (ABD) is staunchly against the proposals. Brian Gregory, chairman and founder member, said: ‘Cutting the speed limit to 50mph is not the solution. Their belief that lowering the speed limit is the answer is wrong.

‘On higher quality roads, the speed limit should even be raised. They need to use scientific principles. Speed limits should be based on the 85th percentile [between the speeds where 80 to 90% of road users drive]. On the motorway, many people drive at 85 to 90mph, so 85mph would be a safe speed limit.’

Mr Gregory also claimed the economy would suffer. ‘Each mph you slow the average speed down by costs the economy £800 million to £1 billion each year.’

Join the online petition calling for the Prime Minister not to lower the national speed limit at: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/noNSLreduction/
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