The Department recently published a Green Paper on speed limit policy which suggests that the speed limit for most roads in densely built-up areas should remain at 30 m.p.h. However, it also describes several types of urban road where a higher limit would not be detrimental to safety. These ideas will be thoroughly discussed during consultation.
Whilst I am grateful for the publication of the very useful discussion paper, would my hon. Friend agree not to be bound by the conclusions, and to accept that the 30 m.p.h. limit is violated in so many instances, and the law brought into so much disrepute, that the limit needs to be amended in a good many cases?
There are no conclusions; the purpose of the Green Paper is to have discussions, and we shall then reach our conclusions. I could not agree that the 30 m.p.h. limit should be abolished altogether, certainly not at present, because there is a high level of accidents to pedestrians and cyclists in urban areas.
Irrespective of what limits we might care to impose, the police could never watch all of them all the time. It would not be sensible for them to attempt to do so. The right answer is to say precisely what we hope to do following the discussions on the Green Paper: to have the right limit which motorists will want to obey.