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Rural road safety

Rural roads can be dangerous places Rural roads can be dangerous places Photo: © Jane Tomlinson

20 July 2012

You may think that cycling and walking in the countryside will be wonderful and relaxing, but the reality can be different, with pedestrians and cyclists competing for space on narrow roads with fast cars.

You may think that cycling and walking in the countryside will be wonderful and relaxing, but the reality can be different, with pedestrians and cyclists competing for space on narrow roads with fast cars.

A new road safety report by the House of Commons Transport Committee published this week failed to recognise that over two-thirds of road deaths now occur on rural roads. The risk of being killed cycling on rural A roads is now 15 times higher than on urban roads. (See www.parliament.uk/transcom). In Oxfordshire, there are about 40 deaths, 350 serious injuries and nearly 2,000 slight injuries reported on the roads every year.

Last week, the Government launched a consultation on whether to reduce the speed limit to 40 miles an hour on minor rural roads. It includes proposals for use of 40 mph zones on minor rural roads, particularly in scenic areas.

We think local people are the best judges of what is the most suitable speed for roads in their area and we encourage people to have their say.

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