[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 August 2006, 05:59 GMT 06:59 UK
Rural speed limit is 'too high'
A road sign in Rhydyfelin
Five pedestrians have died in Rhydyfelin in 20 years, say locals
The 60mph speed limit on rural roads is too high and should be lowered, according to three in four motorists questioned in a new survey.

More than 60% of those questioned by insurance firm Direct Line said the driving test should include tuition on how to drive on country routes.

The company has called for the rural speed limit to be reduced to 40mph.

But one mid Wales road safety campaigner said that without police enforcement this was "unrealistic".

The poll also found that 48% of women found driving on rural roads difficult. This compared to 36% for men drivers.

One area where most people in mid Wales would expect this survey to be welcomed, is along the A487 coast road between Aberystwyth and south-west Wales.

Councillor Alun Lloyd Jones
A lot of drivers speed through the three villages
Councillor Alun Lloyd Jones

It takes drivers through the Ceredigion villages of Llanfarian, Rhydyfelin and Blaenplwyf, where people have been campaigning for years for tighter speed restrictions.

But local councillor Alun Lloyd Jones branded the more general rural speed restriction suggestion as "unrealistic".

Along with others, he has fought for improved road safety measures in all three communities near Aberystwyth.

The campaign has led to a 30mph limit through Llanfarian, while bollards have been placed on a section of pavement.

Mr Jones said: "A lot of drivers speed through the three villages and there have been five deaths in Rhydyfelin alone in the last 20 years."

"I've been campaigning to get a roundabout and a pedestrian crossing there since I became a county councillor in 1991 and my father campaigned too in the 1970s.

"Other traffic calming measures have been put in place and Rhydyfelin is a 40mph limit now."

However, Mr Jones said that unless police were on the spot few people obeyed the limits.

One of the 30mph signs through Llanfarian
Mr Jones says some people ignore the 30mph through Llanfarian

Direct Line said 64% of road deaths took place in rural areas and that a quarter of those who drove in the country admitted speeding.

A spokewoman said: "The majority of motorists on the country roads in summer are likely to be unfamiliar with them and they can be extremely dangerous - especially when approached at high speeds.

"We're also calling on the Government to reduce the speed limit from 60mph to 40mph as we feel the current speed limit is too fast for narrow rural lanes."

Mr Jones added that motorists needed to show "common sense".

"There are some areas that need to be 40mph, but there are many other stretches where 60mph is perfectly fine".

Speed cameras in roadworks drive
16 Feb 06 |  Scotland
Safety measures 'put drivers in danger'
31 Jul 06 |  Northern Ireland

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific