Richard Bacon, MP for South Norfolk, has been given a road safety award by Brake for his campaign to give local residents the power to reduce speed limits in their own communities.
In a recent letter to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, Richard Bacon urged the Government to introduce a ‘community right to reduce speed’, giving local residents the right to request their local highway authority lower the speed limit on any named road by 10mph – with a presumption in favour, unless local police have reason to object.
Brake, the road safety charity, says the proposal is in line with the Government’s localism agenda, and that his approach “emphasises the belief that local residents have the right to enjoy their communities without being endangered by fast traffic”.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: "Brake hears regularly from communities, like those in Richard’s constituency, blighted by fast traffic and who feel frustrated and powerless to make their roads safer.
“We wholeheartedly agree with Richard that local residents have the right to enjoy their communities without being endangered by fast traffic, and they should not have to wait until someone is hurt before action is taken.”
Accepting the award, Richard Bacon said: "I have had many constituents contact me regarding speed limits on local roads which they want to see reduced.
“However, local highways authorities often respond that there have been too few crashes to warrant a reduction in the speed limit. I believe local people know what is best for their communities.
“My proposal for a ‘community right to reduce speed’ aims to give communities the power to decide for themselves what the right speed limit should be for their local roads. The important point is that it will be for residents, not highways officials or passing drivers, to decide what’s best."