The Department For Transport have stirred up a hornets nest of public opinion over their plans for new 50mph rural limits.
Their plan was to introduce a new 50mph limit in place of the current 60mph limit on rural roads, but to leave the old National Speed Limit signs in place. The problem there is that to most motorists who read their Highway Code that sign means 60mph, so there would be huge confusion. Of course, there would be an army of scamera vans sitting at the side of the road taking advantage of that confusion.
If the plans go ahead the cut could affect two thirds of the road network. The DfT are claiming that lowering speed limits will reduce road deaths by about 250 per year, although how those figures were calculated is not exactly clear. Two cars crashing head-on at 50mph are going to have just as devastating consequences as two cars travelling at 60mph.
If you wish to express your opposition to the plan there is an ePetition doing the rounds on the Number 10 website. The petition states that “Following the announcement that the government is planning to reduce the national speed limit to 50 miles per hour, we the undersigned oppose this, since it will make no difference to road deaths and the cut in carbon emissions is so insignificantly small it’s laughable.” There are currently 32,000 signatories and growing, why not go and add your name to the list?