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.
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.