Last week, G R Ashbrook publicised a website which opposed a reduction of the speed limit on the C7 road between Newhaven and Lewes. I fully support this.
All the reputable motoring commentators say that speed alone is only perilous if its application is inappropriate for the given circumstances.
The C7, along with the A26 across the river, are splendid roads, quite capable of being safely driven at good speeds. What the C7 needs is more prominent hazard road signage, particularly on the approach to junctions together with courteous cautions when nearing villages, which are generally responded to positively.
Driving at an unnecessarily slow speed is both soporific and frustrating for others. To make good and proper progress under control is a skill that can be learnt by everyone although the vast majority are only interested in using a vehicle as a mode of transport.
As a motorcyclist and car driver of a few decades experience it astonishes me what I see on the road. There is a whole plethora of appalling driving habits which seem to have become acceptable. All of these are in the least inconsiderate and thoughtless with some being downright dangerous.
Speed limits won’t make any difference anyway to those foolish enough to drive beyond their capabilities. And why pick 40mph as the limit, why not 30mph or 20mph? If a vehicle is moving at all it is potentially dangerous. Only the driver can determine the safe progress at any given speed.
In any event there are many occasions and situations when the speed limits are inapplicable. We rely on own judgment to decide safety and there is a theory that limits should be set at recommended rather than mandatory speeds thus encouraging individual reasoning and responsibility.
Perhaps the answer is to have everyone spend a couple of years riding motorcycles. By doing so they would rapidly learn about road conditions, perceiving dangers and the dynamics of vehicle control.
Speed limits of any kind cannot be a substitute for proficient driving skills.