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Labour MP Calls for 10mph Speed Limits in All Residential Streets

A stepping-stone to a total ban.

According to Labour MP Rachael Maskell, Councils should introduce speed limits of 10 miles an hour in all residential areas.

In a question to the Department for Transport, the Labour MP for York Central, asked whether Mark Harper, the Transport Secretary, would roll-out reduced speed zones near homes.

Saying: “[I want to] ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to require local councils to introduce maximum speed limits of 10mph in residential areas?”

The suggestion was said to be rebuked by the Conservatives, with a spokesman for them saying: “This question shows just how out of touch Labour is. 10mph speed limits would be bonkers, pushing up congestion and making it impossible to drive. “Labour’s anti-car crusade would see ordinary motorists taxed off the road.” Although it should be noted it was the Conservatives who started the current anti-car agenda during Boris Johnson's time as Prime Minister.

There are currently very few 10mph zones across the country, apart from in central areas and car parks. So slow is the speed that the speedometers in many cars only start at 20mph.

The question comes in the middle of a drive by Labour-led administrations to try and cut speed limits on huge swathes of roads across the UK.

Last July, the Labour government in Wales announced that it would be lowering the speed limit on all residential roads from 30mph to 20mph. The changes, which will come into effect in September, will cost £32 million to introduce, with Mark Drakeford, the First Minister, saying the measures would reduce collisions and pollution.

However, studies have already concluded that this will do little or nothing for pollution, and have and equally negligible effect on deaths or serious injuries, whilst, according to

Welsh Conservatives estimates taking out as much as £4.5 billion from the Welsh economy.

In London, Transport for London has recently announced that it intends to reduce the speed limits on a third of its roads by 2024. This includes converting 64 miles of roads in inner London boroughs to 20mph zones in the next two years. Some 40mph zones will now be reduced to 30mph zones. It comes as part of Sadiq Khan's Vision Zero plan, which aims to eliminate death and serious injury on London’s roads.

Speed limits 'do little to stop accidents'

The proliferation of 20mph zones has been a controversial issue with motorists and campaign groups in recent years, with some arguing that they drive safely and others criticising their overuse. Research by experts at Queen’s University last year found that although speed limits reduce traffic they do little to stop accidents. It compared four different years before and after 20mph zones were brought in and showed little change in short or long-term outcomes for road traffic collisions, casualties or driver speed.

Observers warned that anti-car councils were unlikely to stop there and that this would be followed by speeds being reduced even further before the eventual outright ban on all cars.


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