The Speed Limit Review report was published today (Wednesday, September 14) by the Department of Transport, with its recommendations of changes to speed limits set to be passed in early 2024.
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan and Minister of State Jack Chambers announced the publication of the final report, which aims to address the inconsistency of speed limits on roads all over the country.
Changes to the default speed limits will require primary legislation and it is envisaged that the necessary legislation could be passed in the first three months of 2024.
Statutory guidelines will also be updated so that implementation of the review’s recommendations can begin during 2024.
The Speed Limit Review, which is described as a high-impact action under the government’s Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030, makes a number of recommendations, including:
- Default speed limit on national secondary roads to reduce from 100km/h to 80km/h;
- Default speed limit for the network of local and rural roads throughout the country to reduce from 80km/h to 60km/h;
- Default speed limit on urban roads, which include built-up areas as well as housing estates and town centers, to reduce to 30km/h.
Arterial roads and radial routes around urban settings would be able to remain at 50km/h.
There are no proposed changes to the default speed limits on motorways, national primary roads or regional roads contained in the review.
Speaking today, Minister Ryan said the report was being published at a “critical time”.
“The devastation and loss is being felt right across the country and we have to take action to make our roads safer and more predictable for everyone who uses them.
“We committed in the program for government to review and, where appropriate, reduce speed limits to address road safety issues and ensure greater compliance.
“The implementation of the recommendations in this report will contribute to making Irish roads safer for all road users.”
The framework allows for some appropriate, upward variations where a road is deemed to be safe and good quality on assessment by local authorities.
Minister of State, Jack Chambers added: “Implementing the recommendations from the Speed Limit Review will allow for a consistent approach to setting of speed limits across the country.
“These measures need to be part of a range of initiatives to drastically improve road safety.
“I have met with Justice Minister Helen McEntee to discuss enforcement action on our roads.
“We will be ending the anomaly in our penalty points system and we’re expanding the GoSafe contract.”
Chambers had previously announced that there would be €1.2 million allocated to increase GoSafe speed van hours by 20%.
Since 2010, An Garda Síochána has used the service provider GoSafe to operate safety cameras on its behalf with a fleet of marked vehicles.
The report recommends that all new pedestrian and cycle infrastructure should be segregated from general traffic on sections of the road network where the speed limit is greater than 60km/h.
For sections of the current road network where it is proposed to maintain a speed limit over 80km/h, the requirements to divide these roads and manage pedestrians/cyclists shall be investigated.
The investigation is set to be carried out by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), for national roads and the Department of Transport for regional and local roads, with each to prepare a plan within the next two years to address this.