Poll: Should speed limits be reduced to 40mph on rural roads?

A pilot project could see more 40mph limits in north west Norfolk.

A pilot project could see more 40mph limits in north west Norfolk. - Credit: Ian Burt

A national pilot scheme aimed at cutting road deaths could see 40mph speed limits imposed on dozens of rural roads in Norfolk.

Click here to view roads which are included in the pilot scheme

Bosses at Norfolk County Council want to introduce rural zonal limits in an area of north west Norfolk, bounded by the A148 and A149.

The £300,000 scheme, which would have to be agreed by the Department for Transport, would put Norfolk at the 'forefront of rural speed limit setting', according to the council.

Officers monitored road casualties to determine whether reduced limits – from the current 60mph for cars – could help tackle problems in Norfolk. With about 70pc of road deaths and serious injuries happening on single carriageway rural roads, they want to submit a bid to the government to be part of a national pilot project.

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If approved it would see 40mph limits on most rural roads in the pilot area, although a number of key roads would have a limit of 50mph.

Key roads include the B1105 between Fakenham and Wells-Next-The-Sea, the B1335 between Fakenham and Burnham Market and a number to and from Docking.

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Speed limits on the A148 would remain unchanged and on the A149 between Old Hunstanton and King's Lynn. But the A149 coast road would have a 40mph limit between Old Hunstanton and Sheringham. Existing lower limits would remain unchanged.

Dave Stephens, team manager for network management at Norfolk County Council, said: 'The proposal is of an innovatory nature and would be subject to monitoring. It would form a national pilot scheme placing Norfolk at the forefront of rural speed limit setting.'

The county's road casualty reduction partnership board will discuss the pilot today. The committee will be asked to approve the proposed pilot area, to develop the scheme in partnership with the Department for Transport and to set aside £150,000 from a surplus generated by speed cameras to help pay for it.

The council says a successful scheme could save about £1m a year, in terms of the cost to society of dealing with accidents. They say it would be enforceable, but admit there would be no increase in the current level of enforcement.

• What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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