LONDON, August 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
In a bid to cut child deaths on the roads, the Liberal Democrats have put forward plans to cut speed limits from 30mph to 20mph in residential areas. MotorQuoteDirect has learned motoring groups are up in arms over such plans however, believing such an introduction would only impact on driving times and add to costs and delays.
The plan is set to be voted on at the Liberal Democrat conference in September with suggestions that deaths could be cut by as much as 70 per cent. If such a move goes through it would almost certainly lower motor insurance premiums and delegates also argue that in slowing traffic in residential areas it will encourage more parents to allow their youngsters to walk to school.
Leading online car insurance website, MotorQuoteDirect, suggests that not everyone is behind the plan though. The AA has warned that while it was not against 20mph limits where appropriate, a blanket introduction would be "totally impractical".
The motion to be discussed at the Lib Dem conference reads: "Among EU member states, the UK has one of the poorest levels of children walking or cycling to school."
A spokesman for the AA said: "Converting all roads to 20mph would be totally impractical and would impact on driving times and add to costs and delays. It's great in pedestrianised areas but just slapping up 20mph signs would not make things safer."
Department for Transport figures show that while deaths and injuries in 20mph zones rose last year from 1,827 in 2010 to 2,262 in 2011, they fell by one per cent in 30mph areas.
Joe de Vries of MotorQuoteDirect says, "It's clear that whilst the Liberal Democrats plans have been put forward with good intentions and may work for pedestrianised areas, many drivers who use the roads on a daily basis will consider those plans flawed."
Should the motion be passed by the conference, MotorQuoteDirect suggest that it is likely to lead to opposition from the Liberal Democrats' Coalition partners as well.
Conservative ministers including former transport secretary now Defence Secretary, Philip Hammon, are pushing for an increase in the speed limit on motorways, from 70mph to 80mph.
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Joe de Vries