Mandatory variable speed limits will continue to be used as part of the management of traffic on controlled and managed motorways on the strategic road network. Three schemes will be started this year and there will be a further 10 schemes by the end of 2015.
I am grateful to the Minister for that reply. We heard calls earlier today for the greater use of 20 mph speed limits, but is the Minister aware that often the danger that justifies a 20 mph limit is transient, such as outside a school, where the danger is present only briefly during the school day—in the morning, at lunch time and in the afternoon? As we already have the lowest speed limits in Europe, will the Minister encourage local authorities to make greater use of variable 20 mph limits so that once the danger has passed the limit will default to 30?
That is exactly what is being looked at in the Department at the moment. On the motorway network, where variable speed limits help us to sweat the assets, where we can stick to national speed limits we shall continue to do so.