I'm speaking out, just not the way you want me to
Where I live there are lots of NSL lanes but there is no way you can safely do 50, let alone 60 on them. Horses in the road, pedestrians where there is no footpath, cyclists, horseboxes, trucks, busses.... You see a lot of skid marks along the road where I live.
I would urgue you to think carefully before endorsing this course of action!
I too live in a rural area - North West Cumbria. I pull out of my drive on to an NSL single track road about 1-and-a-half 164s wide. About 100 yards down the road there are high hedges either side and a chicaine. The visibility is such that two cars both doing 20MPH, in the dry,with alert drivers will reasonably be able to stop without hitting one another. Obviously a driver coming round the blind bend at 20 is still likely to scare the living daylights out of a horse round the blind bend.
Should I campaign for a blanket 20MPH limit on all NSL rural roads?
Another 100 yards further down the lane, it straightens out and widens a bit. At that point, 50 is perfectly safe (for a further few hundred yards). So, maybe, a 50 MPH blanket limit is a good idea after all. After that, it starts to slope steeply down hill. The visibility and width are still the same but clearly, the stopping distance for the downhill car increases significantly. Maybe a 40MPH blanket limit ought to be the order of the day?
Then, at the bottom of the valley, there's a hump-backed bridge over the beck. It's only wide enough for one car and, as one's bonnet is pointing skywards, you'd be mad to do more than 10MPH over it.
...so maybe we should have a 10MPH limit?
But then again, once past the bridge, it's flat an straight along the bottom of the valley for a mile or so. There are no turnings or driveways, no gateways etc. That stretch is good for 80+ - perhaps more in a more capable car!
...and so on.
The point I'm trying to make is that any competent and prudent driver will be continuously adjusting his or her speed to the conditions prevailing at that precise moment in time and position. The government will very quickly point out that a speed limit is just that - a limit, and that all drivers are expected to use their skill and judgement to select an appropriate speed - at or below the limit, according to the conditions. Odd then, that we are supposed to be able to do this for any speed UP to the limit, but then, for some reason, we suddenly and inexplicably loose the ability to make those judgements as soon as we reach the limit!
I am FIRMLY of the opinion that the government is barking up the worng tree here. We have had 10 years of increasingly draconian speed limit enforcement policy, and where has it got us? Now, in desperation, they're going to start reducing limits. I am sure you will agree with me that it's PERFECTLY possible to kill or seriously injure whilst travelling at 50MPH. These roads have hikers, horse riders, sheep, cyclists, pheasants, dog walkers, tractors....
..What makes you think that those who ignore a 60 limit wouldn't ignore a 50 limit?
I'd have a bit more sympathy if the government published detailed statistics on the number of deaths or serious injuries that had been CAUSED by vehicles travelling at over 50 but under 60MPH on such roads. Something tells me that they won't though!
I honestly believe that reducing the speed limit will make things WORSE, not better. We'll breed a generation of motorists that have lost the ability to think for themselves and will bumble along happily at 50 safe in the knowledge that "speed kills" and they're not speeding so they're "safe".