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Speed limits

Statutory speed limits are set according to the type of road you are driving on and its individual characteristics.

As a guide, unless signs state otherwise, the following speed limits apply to car drivers: (for speed limits of other vehicles please click here)

  • Motorways – 70 mph
  • Dual carriageways – 70 mph
  • Single carriageways – 60 mph
  • Street-lit carriageways – 30 mph

These are the maximum allowable speeds you should drive at; you should not view the speed limit as a target to aim towards.

The importance of speed limits

Speed limits are there to:

  • Create a safe experience for all road users – this includes drivers, motorcyclists, horse riders, cyclists, farmers and pedestrians.
  • Ensure the safety of vulnerable road users, particularly the young and the elderly who are not as quick to react.
  • Allow drivers extra time to spot hazards and dangerous situations on the road ahead and to take the necessary action to avoid them.
  • Provide guidance for drivers on potential hazards, such as sharp bends in the road ahead.
  • Reduce traffic speed in rural towns and villages resulting in fewer serious collisions and improving the quality of life for local residents by cutting traffic noise.