PLANS for even more roads to hit with 20mph speed limits have been called ‘ridiculous’.
Transport for London (TfL) announced in February that it would introduce new 20mph speed limits on four routes around London.
However, Jacob Rees-Mogg, who lives in West Harptree, Somerset, slammed the speed limits.
He told the Sunday Times Magazine: “The 20mph limits are ridiculous.
“They just impede traffic.
“People are supportive of them when they’re offered, only to realize later how boring they are.
“It’s a microcosm of politics in general: opinion polls suggest something would be popular and once you put it into practice, it’s not.
“People should be free to lead their own lives as far as possible without government interference.”
Rees-Mogg, who is the Conservative MP for North East Somerset, said drivers should be able to live their own lives, in reference to speed limits on the roads.
However, by 2024 TfL hopes to expand the scheme in the capital to 127 road miles with 20mph limits.
Currently, there are around 50 miles of road in the capital under a 20mph restriction.
TfL said it wanted to “keep Londoners and visitors safe” by implementing lower speed limits on the road network.
He added that pedestrians and cyclists were much less likely to be killed or seriously injured if hit at 20mph or less than at 30mph.
Areas that have a 20mph speed limit or have a 20mph zone in place have reported reduced pedestrian injuries as well as traffic volumes.
These areas also often use other traffic calming measures such as road narrowing and speed bumps.
Critics say, however, that areas where these traffic calming measures are damaging the vehicle’s suspension by repeatedly going over speed bumps and causing delays in emergency vehicle response times.
Wales plans to lower most national speed limits where street lights are no more than 200 meters apart – mainly residential and built-up areas – to 20mph by April 2023.
Currently, the default speed limit for these areas is 30 mph.
Rees-Mogg’s outburst comes after restaurant critic Giles Coren admitted he was caught speeding 25mph in a 20mph zone on Kentish Town Road in London.
He said: “If you can’t imagine what a speed like 25mph might be like.
“I invite you to remember, at the age of eight or nine, pedaling your new three-speed Raleigh Grifter up a hill.
“It would have been around 25 mph.
“When Florence Griffith-Joyner ran the 100 meters in 10.49 seconds at the 1988 US Olympic trials, she was averaging 23.5 mph, which means around the 60-70 meter mark she was doing about 27 or 28 mph.
“Horrible to think, isn’t it, that I was driving my car almost as fast as a woman can run?”
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