New Directions in Speed Management: A Review of Policy

Source: Department for Transportation

When the Government published the White Paper A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone it decided to set in hand a review of speed management. There was a widespread view that people were driving cars and other motor vehicles too fast. Many people thought speed limits should be lowered and that lower limits would automatically improve safety and bring environmental benefits. Others thought that limits were not observed because they were too low. So this review was to develop a speed policy that takes account of the contribution of reduced speeds to environmental and social objectives as wellas to road safety.

Policies were to be practical and cost effective because damaging the economy would not meet wider social objectives.

We have consulted many people with valuable views and advice about speed issues. We have met groups of representatives of environmental interests, motorists, local authorities and the police. We issued a discussion document in August and held a conference on 15 September last year attended by 300 people. While we were undertaking the review, the Scottish Executive and the National Assembly for Wales were created and their staff have taken part. Although national speed limits are a Great Britain responsibility, local ones are very much a matter for the Executive and the Assembly in Scotland and Wales.

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