MP rails in House of Commons against council’s ‘ridiculous’ and ‘potty’ method of setting speed limits

MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham Stephen Phillips.
MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham Stephen Phillips.
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MP Stephen Phillips spoke out in the House of Commons this week against the county council’s policy of setting speed limits in villages.

Mr Phillips, MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, has been fighting to have the speed limit in villages such as Fulbeck, West Willoughby and Branston lowered but the county council has stubbornly stuck to its policy of deciding speed limits - so Mr Phillips took his concerns to the House of Commons, speaking directly to Minister for Transport Stephen Hammond.

Mr Phillips is calling for the county council to adopt government guidelines which advise the speed limit in villages should

be 30mph.

Mr Phillips said: “These guidelines, I have to tell the house, are not always followed through however. They do not apply, for example, or have not been applied in the village of Fulbeck in my constituency which is bisected by a section of A-road with a 40mph limit which is inappropriate.

“The village amenities are on both sides of the road with, for example, a popular children’s playground on one side of the road whilst the majority of dwellings are on the other.

“Children and elderly people struggle to cross what is a very busy road with blind bends which is used by many heavy goods vehicles. Even fit adult villagers feel that they take their lives into their hands when they try to cross the road.”

Mr Phillips took particular issue with Lincolnshire County Council’s method of setting speed limits. He told the House the county council relies on taking the average speed driven on a road and then sets the limit accordingly which Mr Phillips sees as “counter-intuitive”.

He added: “So defective is that policy in its present formulation that it removes the possibility of any discretionary decision by highways officers meaning that obvious dangers cannot be considered when clearly they should be.

“This mean speed method of establishing limits is, I suggest to the house, utterly ridiculous.

“In the course of calculating the mean speed the recording of vehicle speeds is taken for a week but it includes those drivers that break the speed limit...that’s clearly a potty situation.”

Mr Phillips invited the Minister for Transport to visit his constituency to witness the issues is villages like Fulbeck first-hand.

Mr Hammond accepted the offer saying he “would be delighted to accept his kind invitation to visit both Fulbeck and West Willoughby” later this year, adding: “I very much look forward to seeing the problems that he has talked about tonight first-hand but I rather hope that Lincolnshire County Council will be listening to both his contribution and those of his constituents and that by the time I reach Fulbeck the problem will have been solved.”