Bid to introduce more speed limits on Isle of Man stalls

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionInfrastructure Minister Tim Baker said reviews of speed limits were being carried out

A bid to introduce lower speed limits on urban roads and narrow rural lanes has stalled after the branches of Tynwald failed to reach agreement.

Bill Shimmins MHK had called for roads to be made "safer" by the introduction of more 30mph and 20mph limits.

Infrastructure Minister Tim Baker called on politicians to instead allow the continued rollout of the government's road safety action plan.

A combined vote on that amendment will now take place in October.

In an open letter published last month, the Isle of Man Cycling Association called for the government to introduce lower speed limits across the island to "protect vulnerable road users".

During the coronavirus lockdown period, a temporary 40mph national speed limit coupled with a fall in traffic led to a dramatic drop in road accidents.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionBill Shimmins MHK said lower speed limits could make more people feel safer about cycling

Mr Shimmins said the current speed limits had led to "children unable to play out or walk to school" and "elderly folk who can't cross the road outside their home".

"It is the fear of traffic and road safety concerns which are the biggest barriers for people," he added.

Mr Baker said reviews of current speed limits were taking place as part of the government's road safety strategy, and his department was "working to introduce 20mph zones in all residential areas of the island's towns".

An overuse of the zones could lead to a "backlash" from motorists, leading to a "high level of non-compliance", he said.

"We cannot simply put 20mph signs up on roads that are not suited to these limits," he added.

Although Mr Baker's amendment was backed by the House of Keys, it was rejected by the Legislative Council.

Both branches will vote again on the issue as one body at the October sitting of Tynwald.

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