‘Ridiculous' 20mph speed limits slammed for being obstructive rules that don't work in practise

JACOB Rees-Mogg has slammed the 20mph speed limits as “ridiculous,” saying they don’t work in practise.

The Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency, 52, hit out at plans to bring in 20mph speed limits in a number of villages, including where he lives in West Harptree.


Rees-Mogg, who is the Conservative MP for North East Somerset said drivers should be able to live their own lives, in reference to the speed limits on the roads.

He told the Sunday Times Magazine: “20mph limits are ridiculous.

"They simply obstruct the flow of traffic.

“People are in favour of them when they are proposed, and later realise how annoying they are.

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“It's a microcosm of politics generally: opinion polls suggest something would be popular and once you put it into practice it isn't.

"People should be free to lead their own lives as far as possible without Government interference.”

Transport for London (TfL) announced in February it would introduce new 20mph speed limits on four roads around London.

By 2024, TfL hopes to expand the project to 127 miles of road with 20mph limits.

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Currently, there are approximately 50 miles of road in the capital under a 20mph restriction.

TfL said it wanted to “ensure the safety of Londoners and visitors” by implementing lower speed limits on the road network.

It added pedestrians and cyclists were much less likely to be killed or seriously injured if hit at 20mph or less rather than 30mph.

Areas which have a 20mph speed limit or have a 20mph zone in place have reported a reduction in the number of pedestrian injuries as well as traffic volumes.

These areas also often utilise other traffic calming measures such as narrowing the road and putting speed bumps in place.

Critics however say that areas with these traffic calming measures damage vehicle suspension by repeatedly going over speed bumps as well as causing delays to emergency vehicle response times.

Wales is planning to drop most national speed limits where street lights are not more than 200 yards apart – mainly residential and built-up areas – to 20mph by April 2023.

Currently the default speed limit for those areas is 30mph.

The outburst by Rees-Mogg comes after restaurant critic Giles Coren admitted he had been caught speeding at 25mph in a 20mph zone on Kentish Town Road in London.

He said: “If you cannot imagine what a speed such as 25mph might look or feel like.

“I invite you to recall, at the age of eight or nine, pedalling your new three-speed Raleigh Grifter down a hill.

“That would have been about 25mph.

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“When Florence Griffith-Joyner ran the 100 metres in 10.49 seconds at the US Olympic trials in 1988, she averaged 23.5mph, meaning that around the 60 to 70 metre mark she was doing about 27 or 28mph.

“Horrendous to think, isn’t it, that I was driving my car very nearly as fast as a woman can run?”


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