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  1. ITV Report

Lower speed limits heading towards Britain's roads

Councils will be given greater freedom to introduce 20mph schemes under new government proposals to improve road safety.

. Credit: Press Association

Local officials will also have more scope to cut speeds on rural roads with a history of accidents and introduce variable speed limits outside schools.

It's part of updated Department for Transport guidance which was put out for consultation yesterday.

. Credit: Press Association
  • Councils will be encouraged to expand 20mph zones and limits in urban and residential areas where it can be shown they benefit safety and quality of life
  • There are around 2,000 schemes in England with research suggesting that introducing a 20mph zone can cut collisions by 60%
  • It could also see speed limits on many rural roads in England cut from 60mph to 40mph
  • Roads affected could include those with a number of junctions, bends or barriers

It is vital that speed limits are suitable for local conditions and councils are best placed to determine what these limits are, based on local knowledge and the views of the community. To help, we are publishing updated guidance for consultation. This includes a number of initiatives we have introduced to improve road safety, including making it easier for local authorities and communities to put in place 20 mph schemes, or use common-sense measures such as variable speed limits outside schools.

– Mike Penning, Road Safety Minister

There will be no changes to the national limits of 30mph on street lit roads, 60mph on single carriageway roads and 70mph on dual carriageways and motorways.