Speed Limits Slashed On Country Roads

Sun 14th Aug 2022

Whizzing round country roads can be an exhilarating experience for many drivers, but the dangerous practice will soon be a thing of the past with news that local councils are looking to drastically reduce the speed limit on rural roads.

Department for Transport figures clearly indicate that a solution needs to be found, we generally drive less on country roads as a nation, however 57 per cent of deaths on British roads are in rural areas. The analysis tells us that the risk of being in an accident when driving on a country road is ten times more likely than on a motorway. There are 10,000 deaths or serious injuries on rural roads every year.

The problems appear obvious, many drivers are unfamiliar with the environment, visibility is limited, roads are often in poor condition and there is more chance of mud and other slippery surfaces being on the surface. Despite this, for many parts of the UK, the speed limit on these roads is 60mph. 

But a council close to London has finally decided to take action, by reducing the speed limit from 60mph to 20mph in a strip of countryside 80 square miles, covering the Surrey Hills, on the A25 from Guildford to Dorking. Surrey Council believe that the move will make roads safer but also reduce air and noise pollution as well as encouraging more people to walk, cycle and ride horses.

The news has been backed by the Government and road safety charities.

Transport safety parliamentarian David Davies said: “It is increasingly anomalous that speeds have been reduced to 20mph in urban areas, yet on country lanes it is extremely dangerous.”

Mary Williams, CEO of charity Brake, added: "There are so many unpredictable risks — whether a branch around the corner, someone on a bike, or an animal — that you can’t engineer your way out of trouble."