TORY MEPs have opposed suggestions for a Europe-wide speed limit – but failed to block the plan.
German centre-right MEP Dieter Lambrect-Koch presented a resolution to the European Parliament, which included plans to set the speed limits in residential areas for member states at 30kph, equivalent to around 19mph.
Although the EU accepted the resolution, this was an early stage of a process which would require many more votes and debates in the parliament before it became a law.
Tory MEPs voted against the suggestion, which would eventually set all UK laws close to the 20mph limit adopted city-wide in Portsmouth’s residential streets in March 2008.
Tory MEP and transport spokesman Jacqueline Foster said: ‘Of course speed limits as low as 20mph or so can be right in some very specific areas, especially near schools or nurseries, but every location is different and these decisions need to be made case by case. Not by a Europe-wide edict.’
South-east England Green MEP Keith Taylor backed the proposal. He said: ‘Road accidents across Europe remain at unacceptably high levels and there is a need for more concerted efforts to improve safety.
‘This limit would ensure drivers must respect the same rules across the EU.
‘Lower speed limits in urban areas will have major safety benefits for all road users and reduce noise and air pollution and, as such, would be a win-win situation.’