Speed limit call as crashes rise

Speed Reduction: Local authorities are considering reducing the speed limit on rural roads from 60mph to 40mph, like here on the A621 Baslow to Totley road after a series of fatal collisions in the county.
Speed Reduction: Local authorities are considering reducing the speed limit on rural roads from 60mph to 40mph, like here on the A621 Baslow to Totley road after a series of fatal collisions in the county.

Speed limits on some rural routes could be lowered - after a rise in deaths on Derbyshire roads.

Last year the number of people killed or badly hurt on the county’s roads rose by 2.9 per cent - with almost a fifth of injury road crashes involving speed.

Department for Transport figures show that 66 per cent of road deaths in the country took place on rural roads - sparking calls for 60mph roads to be cut to 40mph.

Thirty-five people were killed in Derbyshire in 2011, compared to 20 in 2010, and over three times the national average of ten.

Latest data also shows casualties on the county’s roads rose to 2,836 compared to the national average of 1,195.

A spokesperson for Derby and Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership said: “We’re saddened by the fact that the number of people killed or badly hurt on our roads rose by 2.9 per cent last year. We work hard to cut the number of deaths and injuries on our roads but we know we’ve still got work to do.”

Under government plans a reduction to 40mph should also be considered where there is “substantial development” or where there are “a considerable number” of horse-riders, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

Derbyshire has five of the top ten most dangerous roads in the country, according to the European Road Assessment Programme which in its last assessment named the A537 as the most dangerous road in the UK.

A spokeswoman for Derbyshire County Council said the government was set to update speed limit guidance by the end of this year and the authority would respond ahead of the October 5 deadline.