§ Sir H. Linstead
asked the Minister of Transport whether he is now able to announce the results of the speed limit imposed at week-ends last summer; and whether he will make a statement.81W
§ Mr. Marples
The 700miles of selected trunk roads on which the 50 m.p.h. speed limit was imposed between Whitsun and mid-September showed a reduction of 29 per cent. in accidents and 26 per cent. in casualties compared with 1959. Comparable roads on which a speed limit was not imposed showed reductions of only 16 per cent. and 15 per cent. respectively. There was a significant reduction in traffic speeds on the roads with the speed limit.
The general speed limit which was in force for five weekends starting on 26th July produced an inconclusive result over the period as a whole, although at the first weekend there was a significant fall in speeds, and a 10 per cent. fall in the casualty rate compared with 1962.
As part of the special efforts needed to reduce accidents over Christmas, I have decided to impose a speed limit of 50 m.p.h. on all roads in England and Wales which have no permanent speed limit, except motorways, during the hours of darkness from the evening of Monday, 23rd December to the morning of Friday, 27th December.