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Reduced speed limits to be trialed on UK country roads

A small village is set to trial 20 and 30mph speed limits on country roads which currently allow traffic at 60mph.

Set in the hills of Surrey, Coldharbour will begin a scheme to introduce the reduced speed limits of around 80 square miles in autumn this year.

The changes come following the news last month that Wales is set to enforce a 20mph speed limit throughout residential areas next year in a bid to encourage reduced car use. 

Many country roads are set at a default limit of 60mph has been unchanged since the 1970s which Surrey Council deem ‘inappropriate’ adding that attempting to drive at this speed on narrow country lanes would be ‘reckless.’

Rural roads are classed as more dangerous than motorways with around 10,000 deaths and serious injuries of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. In fact, according to the Department of Transport, 57 per cent of road deaths in Britain occur on rural country roads, despite only accounting for 43 per cent of traffic.

According to Brake, the road safety charity, ten times as many people die on rural roads than on motorways. Also, motorcyclists are twice as likely and cyclists three times more likely to be killed than on an urban road.

Usually, any changes to the speed limit on a country road is as a response to a traffic collision but any local authority has the power to change the speed limit of a road in their area, so many other councils are likely to follow Surrey.

However, the AA argued that drivers could be diverted onto country roads by their sat-navs without knowledge of the speed limit changes or, if the road is straight with no obvious dangers, then there would be no reason for them not to travel at 60mph.

Speak to the personal injury solicitors at Potter Rees Dolan, and we can help you find out whether you have a case regarding a road traffic accident. Contact us on 0800 027 2557 to find out more.