The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced last week plans to block councils imposing 20mph speed limits.

However, RoSPA, a leading voice in health and safety, says the evidence shows that 20mph zones save lives and stripping local communities of its powers will see more deaths on the road

Steve Cole, executive head of policy, campaigns, and public affairs at RoSPA, said: “RoSPA is deeply concerned by reports of Sunak’s plans to block councils imposing 20mph speed limits , particularly as only yesterday figures showed that motorist and pedestrian death rates in this country are still too high.

“Local practitioners and their communities know their roads far better than Westminster and should therefore have the powers to make decisions about local speed limits.

“The evidence shows that local decision making about road safety including 20mph zones is both essential and effective in reducing deaths, and we do not believe that local communities should be subject to blanket decision making from Westminster about their needs.

“It’s important that communities feel safe, and as it is estimated that 20mph speed limits can result in 40 per cent fewer collisions and a seven-fold reduction in deaths.

“By removing powers from local communities, the Government are putting drivers and pedestrians at risk and should instead be focusing efforts on assessing the evidence and delivering its long-awaited road safety strategy.”