Court bid to stop France speed limit cut thrown out

MEPs sought temporary injunction preventing implementation of new speed limit on France's secondary routes

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France's highest administrative court has thrown out a bid by 57 MEPs to stop the speed limit cut on France's secondary routes.

The court ruled that "conditions of urgency were not met" for the MEPs to challenge the implementation of the decree using an emergency procedure known as référé-suspension, similar to a temporary injunction.

In its decision, the Conseil d'Etat said that, "in order to justify the urgency of suspending the execution of the decree, the applicants merely put forward general considerations, in particular the fact that the decree could cause motorists to lose points or increase their fuel costs".

These arguments did not make it possible to establish the urgent nature of the application, the court ruled.

The speed limit on 400,000km of France's secondary routes - 40% of the country's entire road network - was cut to 80kph on July 1.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe had announced the plan on January 9, prompting an outcry from motoring groups, as well as some MPs and even government ministers. A survey published in April found that 76% of French people opposed the plans.

Police, meanwhile, have been offering a one-hour speed awareness seminar for drivers caught breaking the lower speed limit. Those who take part do not lose any points off their licence, and avoid the €68 fine.

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