The Department for Transport (DfT) has pitched the idea of cutting speed limits from 60mph to 40mph across a number of rural roads in the UK.
Almost half of road deaths take place on rural roads (report from the BBC). The move is part of a wider move by the Government, which said it supports 'speed limits suitable for local conditions.
In its draft guidance the Department for Transport said: "Our vision is for a transport system that is an engine for economic growth but one that is also greener and safer and improves quality of life in our communities. We also want our roads to become safer, less congested and less polluted.
"We want to encourage sustainable local travel and economic growth by making public transport and cycling and walking more attractive and effective, promoting lower carbon transport and tackling local road congestion.
"We want to contribute to wider public health and safety outcomes by contributing to a reduction in road casualties.
More 20mph areas
The Government has also given greater freedom to local councils to introduce 20mph schemes in urban areas, a move welcomed by sustainable transport advocates like Sustrans.
Joe Williams, policy adviser for the charity, said: “It’s good to see the government encouraging wider use of 20mph limits and zones to make our streets more pleasant places to live, work and play.
“Children and families should have the same right to safety wherever they are. It’s now time for 20mph to become the default speed limit across the UK.”