London, 1 Dec 1999.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

ABD Welcomes Decision To Scrap Speed Limit Cuts
The ABD today welcomed reports that despite opposition from green groups the Government has scrapped plans to cut the national speed limits from 60mph to 50mph on the open road and from 30mph to 20mph in towns.
Along with other motoring organisations the ABD has campaigned against the new, lower blanket limits as they would have little effect on road safety, and could even lead to greater numbers of accidents.

Despite the Government's action, local authorities still have powers to reduce speed limits with minimum consultation. The Government has already passed responsibility for unpopular moves for new town driving and office parking taxes onto local authorities, and it is now seeking to do the same with speed limits.

It is good to see the Government's move away from blanket limits, but many local authorities are still heading down this route, putting in unnecessary new limits in towns, villages and on the open road. These new, artificially low limits can cause deaths, not save lives. The Government needs to make sure that local authorities set limits in accordance with carefully researched national standards.

The ABD has suggested a new Four Point Plan to boost road safety:

  1. Invest in improving the road network so that safety is designed in from the start.
  2. Educate all road users to show them how accidents happen and how to avoid them, and instil a sense of responsibility for their actions.
  3. Encourage better driving skills through driver education and by making it attractive to develop advanced driving skills.
  4. Move away from the emphasis on 'Speed Kills' and recognise that driving is a highly complex process that cannot be simplified down to one element.
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory:
"Government policy is costing lives on the roads. Vitally needed new road projects to upgrade dangerous single carriageway roads to dual carriageways, provide proper graded junctions to replace dangerous centre crossings points, and to bypass small towns and villages have been cancelled. The Government needs to invest in active road safety campaigns, not merely reduce speed limits."


Notes for Editors