Speeding (Villages)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd November 1992.

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Photo of Sir Geoffrey Johnson Smith Sir Geoffrey Johnson Smith , Wealden 12:00 am, 23rd November 1992

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action he is taking to reduce excessive speed in villages.

Photo of Mr John MacGregor Mr John MacGregor Chair, Privileges Committee, The Secretary of State for Transport, Chair, Privileges Committee

I have today laid a draft order to remove the requirement that local traffic authorities obtain my consent before establishing a speed limit on any principal road. In addition, I shall shortly be issuing a circular advising local authorities, when setting a speed limit, to place greater stress on environmental considerations and less on the need to show that the road has a poor accident record.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Johnson Smith Sir Geoffrey Johnson Smith , Wealden

My right hon. Friend will be aware that many villages in my constituency are bisected by busy roads. Do such villages have to wait for someone to be killed or for a series of serious accidents to happen before action is taken to control excessive speed?

Photo of Mr John MacGregor Mr John MacGregor Chair, Privileges Committee, The Secretary of State for Transport, Chair, Privileges Committee

Many villages in my constituency are in a similar position. I have long been aware of the concern among villagers that it appears that they have to suffer serious road accidents before a speed limit can be allowed. I share that concern. I have changed the criteria so that that will no longer be the case.