Road Safety News

South Norfolk MP acclaimed by Brake

Tuesday 9th September 2014

Richard Bacon, MP for South Norfolk, has been given a road safety award by Brake for his campaign to give local residents the power to reduce speed limits in their own communities.

In a recent letter to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, Richard Bacon urged the Government to introduce a ‘community right to reduce speed', giving local residents the right to request their local highway authority lower the speed limit on any named road by 10mph - with a presumption in favour, unless local police have reason to object.

Brake, the road safety charity, says the proposal is in line with the Government's localism agenda, and that his approach “emphasises the belief that local residents have the right to enjoy their communities without being endangered by fast traffic”.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: "Brake hears regularly from communities, like those in Richard's constituency, blighted by fast traffic and who feel frustrated and powerless to make their roads safer.

“We wholeheartedly agree with Richard that local residents have the right to enjoy their communities without being endangered by fast traffic, and they should not have to wait until someone is hurt before action is taken.”

Accepting the award, Richard Bacon said: "I have had many constituents contact me regarding speed limits on local roads which they want to see reduced. 

“However, local highways authorities often respond that there have been too few crashes to warrant a reduction in the speed limit. I believe local people know what is best for their communities.

“My proposal for a ‘community right to reduce speed' aims to give communities the power to decide for themselves what the right speed limit should be for their local roads. The important point is that it will be for residents, not highways officials or passing drivers, to decide what's best."



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I read this with interest and optimism. I live on a rural road on the edge of a village but clearly within the village confines with a speed limit of 40MPH that is regularly exceeded. I also have limited visibility entering and exiting my property. I have been told, on more than one occasion, by Northamptonshire Highways that they will not consider lowering the speed limit to 30MPH as nobody will stick to it! Our village, Quinton, all back a lower speed limit.
Helen Padbury, Quinton, Northamptonshire NN7 2EF

Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

Whether it merits an award is really up to BRAKE. With regard to the 20's Plenty for Us campaign this really is a separate proposal. We say that Traffic Authorities have responsibilities under the Road Traffic Act and the Equality Act 2010 to set appropriate speed limits for all road users, including the vulnerable and the disadvantaged. And in areas where people live, shop, work or learn we say this should be 20mph as a default with exceptions determined by consideration of a road's individual characteristics, use and history. We see no reason why such exceptions (either higher or lower) should not be influenced by local residents. But the ultimate responsibility rests with the Traffic Authority.

Hence the call from Richard Bacon to allow local residents to influence the lowering of a speed limit is complementary to the 20's Plenty campaign for both the implementation of "default 20, targeted 30" locally and nationally.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (3) | Disagree (6)

Not sure that simply writing a letter to a Government Minister should really merit an award, especially when it contains a proposal which seems to be along the same lines as the long-running 20's Plenty campaign.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)