Change in speed limits for rural roads becomes more likely

Motorhome enthusiasts may find their journeys on the back roads of the UK taking a little longer in future as the Government considers reducing the maximum speed on many of the UK’s rural roads.

Currently the great majority of rural roads in the UK are tied to the national speed limit of 60 mph but the Department for Transport have issued new guidelines which will make it easier for local councils to introduce a limit of 40 mph without incurring major expense. The proposals will only require local councils to erect signs at the beginning and end of sections of road where a new speed limit applies, which is similar to traffic calming measures employed in busy cities and towns and much cheaper than regulations in place at the moment.

The move will be welcomed by many in the motoring section including motorhome insurance providers who year on year see claims come in from motorists involved in accidents on rural roads. In fact figures for 2010 show that almost 7 out of 10 fatalities occurred on rural roads and fifty percent of those where on rural roads with a 60 mph limit. Some motoring organisations have still to warm to the idea saying without regular signage motorists may well forget what the speed limit is but generally it is anticipated there will be little resistance to the idea.

Certainly the Campaign to Protect Rural England support the plan with the groups senior transport campaigner, Ralph Smythe, saying “Since the last speed limit guidance was published, deaths on rural roads have tragically increased from half of all road deaths, to over two thirds. While the UK has made urban areas safer through introducing 20 mph zones, we have failed unlike other countries to do anything similar in the countryside.”

It’s anticipated many local authorities will take advantage of the new system hoping it will not only reduce accident rates but also improve traffic flow.