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Speed Limits

Volume 932: debated on Thursday 26 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will explain his arrangements for national speed limits; and what effect he expects them to have.

With my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales, I have now made the Temporary Speed Limit Order 1977, which will come into force on 1st June. Except where lower limits are indicated by signs, the national speed limits will then be 70 mph, on dual carriageway roads and 60 mph on single carriageway roads. Before the fuel economy limits were introduced in December 1974, a number of roads carried local speed limits imposed under local orders. Most of these were revoked in 1974 but the new order revives them with a few exceptions. These exceptions, on which the national speed limit will now apply, are roads which have been so improved since the original local order was made that in the opinion of the highway authority concerned there is no longer any need to impose a limit lower than the new national limit.The new limits represent the maximum speed permissible when conditions are favourable, and drivers must use their judgment and drive more slowly when safety demands it.