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Journal Interview: MP Stephen Phillips discusses his campaign to cut speeds on village roads

Sleaford and North Hykeham MP Stephen Phillips.

Sleaford and North Hykeham MP Stephen Phillips.

Campaigning MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham Stephen Phillips has been battling to have the speed limit through villages in Lincolnshire reduced to 30mph since before he was even voted into office.

This week he spoke out in the House of Commons, calling on the Transport Minister to lean on county councils such as Lincolnshire to reduce speed limits and help save lives.

Q) How long have you been aware of the problem of speed limits on village roads in the county?

A) Even before I was elected in May 2010. Villagers in Fulbeck came to me, West Willoughby not long after the election. Branston, Metheringham, all over the constituency really, right from day one.

Q) How have you found dealing with the county council on the subject?

A) They have been receptive to listening to me. The difficulty for the officers is the council had its own speed limit policy long before I was elected and there is a reluctance to change that policy or even look at it until after the Government consultation on it.

Q) Would you like to see a 30mph limit through all villages?

A) That’s exactly what I would like to see for two reasons; one, it improves the quality of life for people living in these villages and, secondly, to make roads safer and ensure road users know how fast we should be driving so drivers know as soon as we enter a village we should be down to 30mph. At the moment there is this miss-mash of different speed limits in the same village. In Branston there is a 30mph, a 40mph and a 50mph. In Navenby and Wellingore one is 40mph and one is 30mph which makes no sense. It’s all very important for road safety because if you hit a child at 30mph instead of 40mph there is a massive difference in terms of survival.

Q) A particular bugbear of yours seems to be the county council’s system of using the average speed on a road to set speed limits...

A) As I said in the House of Commons it seems to me to be potty to take into account for the setting of speed limits anyone exceeding the speed limit for that road and national speed limits as well.

Q) Following your House of Commons speech the Minister for Transport accepted your invite. Would you welcome his visit to Fulbeck?

A) Yes, he is going to come and take a look at the issue himself. But he has made clear he expects Lincolnshire County Council to follow the Government’s guidance and I hope they are listening to that

message.

Q) The minister said he hoped the issue would be sorted before he arrived. Is there any chance of a swift resolution?

A) It may happen. I think it depends on when the county council reviews its own speed limit policy and brings it into line with Government guidance - the sooner the better. Only last week a car in Fulbeck demolished a speed sign so the sooner they do what I think is the right thing the better.

Is a 30mph limit in villages a good idea? E-mail: comment@granthamjournal.co.uk

 

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