French town sets 30 kph speed limit on all roads

The speed limit has been introduced everywhere in the town, which is often used as a cut-through for Bordeaux

A town near Bordeaux (Gironde, Nouvelle-Aquitaine) has become the first of its size in France to introduce a 30 kph speed limit on all of its roads.

Bègles, a town of 27,000 inhabitants on the banks of the Garonne River, around five kilometres from the centre of Bordeaux, is often used as a cut-through by drivers wishing to avoid city traffic.

The town introduced the new measure yesterday (July 8), making the maximum speed limit 30 kph on every single one of its roads.

The limit is intended to improve public safety - as stopping distances for vehicles at 30 kph is almost half that at 50 kph - and also expected to help reduce traffic noise and air pollution.

The town’s mayor, Clément Rossignol Puech - who is also vice-president of Bordeaux Métropole and president of the climate agency l’Agence Energie Climat Bordeaux Gironde - confirmed the change on Twitter, in response to a question from a French account appearing to be associated with driving app Waze.

The mayor also said: “The aim is for our residents to take back their public space. Children, parents with prams, seniors, people with reduced mobility, cyclists, roller skaters, pedestrians, all have the right to move around in peace.”

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