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Give communities more power over speed limits, says MP

SOUTH NORFOLK MP Richard Bacon has called on ministers to use the Localism agenda to give communities greater power over local speed limits.

In a letter to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, Mr Bacon has proposed a ‘Community Right to Reduce Speed’, through which local residents would have the right to have the speed limit on a named road within their parish’s boundaries lowered by 10mph.

Based on the Community Rights in the Localism Act, Mr Bacon added there would be a presumption in favour of a request to lower a particular speed limit unless the police objected on safety grounds. 

Mr Bacon said: “Over the years, I have had many constituents contact me regarding speed limits on local roads which they want to see reduced.

“Local highways authorities often reply that there have been too few accidents to warrant a reduction in the speed limit but I believe local people know what is best for their communities.  They want action before people are hurt, not afterwards.

“The Localism Act already provides local people with the ‘Community Right to Bid’ and the ‘Community Right to Challenge’, both of which have been embraced a means of  giving residents greater control of their own locality. 

“A ‘Community Right to Reduce Speed’ would be a positive step in reducing road casualties and protecting local residents, and I can think of several parishes in my constituency where such a right would be seized with both hands”.  

Mr Bacon’s proposal to the Transport Secretary provides local residents with the right to request that the local highways authority lowers the speed limit on a named road within the parish boundaries by 10mph.  In turn, there would be a presumption by the local highways authority in favour of lowering the speed limit unless the local police had reason to object on safety grounds. 

11 August 2014