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Autumn Cycling

Road Safety Week 2022: Speed limits

Cycling solicitor Philip Lee considers the need for a review of speed limits, particularly on country roads, during Road Safety Week.

Posted on 16 November 2022

Speed kills. It is universally accepted that the faster a vehicle is going the more harm it will cause if it hits a cyclist or other road user.

Campaigns against speeding are not new and many urban areas have seen the benefit of speed reduction measures to protect vulnerable road users and reduce noise and pollution.

Earlier this year, the Welsh Government announced that all residential roads in the country will have the speed limit reduced to 20mph. It is hoped that similar measures will be rolled out across the UK.

However, speed reduction measures must also be rolled out on country roads to protect those who walk, cycle or horse ride.

Country roads are often subject to the National Speed Limited of 60mph despite being narrow, windy and with reduced visibility caused by high hedgerows.

Such speed limits are out of date and not in line with the drive towards increased levels of cycling for both transport and leisure.

Cycling along quiet country lanes can involve both pleasure and peril when passing vehicles that are travelling at excessive speeds.

At Leigh Day, we see many cases involving seriously injured cyclists who have come to harm following collisions with motorists on country lanes.

Lower speeds will allow for better visibility and decrease stopping distances which could prevent a collision altogether, or should one occur, reduce the severity of the impact.

We support Brake’s “Safe Not 60” campaign and that speed limits should be based on the design and layout of a particular road and not just be a blanket 60mph.


Philip Lee

Philip Lee

Philip Lee is an associate solicitor in the cycling team.

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