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national asks for local transport

Transport, — December 2021

Some changes the national government could make to improve local transport.

  • change the default speed limits to 20mph in built-up areas and 40mph in rural areas. (Local authorites can raise that following a safety audit, on stretches of road where there is clear visibility, adequate footways and cycling infrastructure, etc.)
  • allow 10mph speed limits in small low-traffic areas of residential streets, in largely pedestrianised "high street" areas, outside schools, and so forth. These could come bundled with pedestrian/cycle priority and other measures, creating "home zone" areas (like Dutch woonerf or French Zone de rencontre). The City of London wants 15mph speed limits.
  • extend the ban on pavement parking that exists in London to the rest of England.
  • allow paint-only side-road zebra crossings — without Belisha beacons — on low-traffic, low-speed streets.
  • give Part 6 "Moving Traffic Regulation Enforcement" powers to local authorities outside London.
  • prescribe a standard colouring for cycle tracks and lanes (unless the local authority already has one established).
  • direct speed camera revenue to the police or the local authority, not the treasury

And some possible broader changes.

  • include a first-aid provision in the driving test, and make penalties for hit-and-run offences stiffer
  • increase fuel duty
  • change Vehicle Excise Duty to reflect vehicle weight (and thus road damage and particulate pollution), not just exhaust pollution
  • drop the motorway speed limit to 50mph, with coaches and buses allowed to do 60mph and given exclusive use of the outside lane


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