‘No plans’: Department for Transport rule out changes to speed limits over emissions fears

Birmingham: Clean Air Zone signs seen across the city

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The development of Clean Air Zones (CAZ) and other car tax zones have been seen across the UK in recent months, with London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and Birmingham’s CAZ being the most notable. More cities are in the final stages of implementing a new car tax zone which looks at reducing carbon emission levels, including Manchester, Newcastle and Bristol.

Oxford are even proposing a Zero Emission Zone to be launched in 2022.

Paris has set a maximum speed limit of 30km/h or 18.6mph in the city in a drive to improve the environment.

The aim of the scheme is to cut accidents and reduce noise and pollution.

A poll suggested that 59 percent of Parisians are in favour of the measure.


The Department for Transport however are not planning on introducing any sort of regional or national change to cut down on emissions.

In an exclusive comment to Express.co.uk, a DfT spokesperson said: “There are currently no plans to review the English national limits.

“The presence of street lighting indicates the speed limit: if there are street lights and no signs to the contrary, the speed limit is 30mph (Rule 124 of the Highway Code).

“To change this would incur the cost of the planning, traffic management and installation of millions of new 20 terminal signs, repeater signs on roads retaining a 30mph limit, and traffic authorities would need to amend large numbers of speed limit orders.

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“In addition, general compliance needs to be achievable without an excessive reliance on enforcement, and evidence suggests that average speeds tend to fall to compliant levels only on roads where previous average speeds were already low.

“Local authorities already have the power to set 20mph speed limits in areas and on streets where people and traffic mix.

“The Department’s guidance is designed to make sure speed limits are set appropriately and consistently set while allowing for local flexibility.

“It makes clear that 20mph can be introduced both on streets that are primarily residential and on town and city streets with high pedestrian and cyclist movements.”

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