§ Mr. Peter Bradley
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has(a) for the reduction of speed limits on country lanes and in villages and (b) to introduce a network of rural roads on which pedestrians, cyclists and horseriders will have priority over motorists. 
§ Ms Glenda Jackson
The contribution speed limits can make in effectively managing speed on rural roads is one of the issues being considered within the current speed policy review. Local authorities will soon have the power to make 20mph limits/zones without the consent of the Secretary of State. The new legislation is likely to come into force later this month provided Parliament approves. Evidence suggests these limits are successful only in conjunction with measures that encourage the driver to slow down.
That aside. there is much that can be done within existing legislation and using proven techniques to protect walkers, cyclists and horseriders from the worst excesses of traffic on minor country roads. The Department is working with the Countryside Agency's Countryside Traffic Management Group to develop good practice guidance on rural traffic management designed with sensitivity to the countryside environment.