Speed limit on country roads outside London to be cut from 60mph to just 20mph | The Sun

A SPEED limit on country roads outside of London will be cut from 60mph to just 20 mph.

Council officials want to cut the joyriders on scrambler motorcycles and bangers racing up the tracks. 

The new speed restriction will be piloted in the Surrey Hills, covering roughly 80 square miles south of the A25 from Guildford to Dorking. 

Currently the roads are at the national speed limit. Other councils including in West Sussex are also considering the scheme.

Nearby Capel parish councillor Stuart McLachlan told the Sunday Times: “We get joyriders in 4x4s coming at midnight, charging up and down the byways.

“They come in the winter, when it's all muddy, and after dark.


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"They buy an old banger for £50, run it into the ground and just set fire to it.”

Surrey council said the default 60mph limit is inappropriate for most minor rural roads, insisting that driving at that speed on windy and bendy stretches is reckless.

It added that the changes will reduce the risk and severity of crashes. 

It also claims it will reduce air and noise pollution, and make it safer, easier and more pleasant to walk, cycle and ride horses.

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But Surrey and Sussex police forces said the pilot scheme relied on drivers complying.

Some 57 per cent of deaths on British roads are in rural areas but country roads account for just 43 per cent of traffic, Department for Transport stats show. 

And rural roads are ten times more dangerous that motorways, with about 10,000 deaths and serious injuries every year.

British Cycling, the sport's governing body, also urged the government to cut the speed limit by half on thousands of miles of rural roads without white markings.

Policy manager Nick Chamberlain said 30mph "is a much more sensible default".

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Transport safety parliamentarian David Davies said: “It is increasingly anomalous that speeds have been reduced to 20mph in urban areas, yet on country lanes it is extremely dangerous.”

Mary Williams, CEO of charity Brake, added: "There are so many unpredictable risks — whether a branch around the corner, someone on a bike, or an animal — that you can’t engineer your way out of trouble."

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