MP TOBIAS Ellwood has warned a “default” 20mph speed limit in the BCP Council area would “slow everything down”. 

The MP for Bournemouth East raised the controversial and divisive issue in Parliament, saying 20mph does not work in Wales and will not work in Bournemouth. 

BCP Council’s deputy leader Millie Earl previously said it was the local authority’s “intention” to introduce a “default 20mph speed limit”. 

Mr Ellwood said: “Tourism is a vital component of Bournemouth’s economy, and half of visitors to our fantastic seaside resort come by car.

Bournemouth Echo: 20mph zone

“But if Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council gets its way, Bournemouth could soon be subject to a default 20 mph speed limit, which will simply slow everything down.  

“We will all spend more time stuck in traffic, increasing pollution, rather than at our destinations. We already have designated 20 mph zones around schools, for example, but a default limit across the town would not just impact on the visitor experience, but slow down public transport, delivery vans and parents doing the school run.” 

Read more: What roads and areas could become 20mph in BCP area?

Leader of the house Penny Mordaunt replied: “One would hope that local authorities would learn from mistakes made elsewhere, and stop inflicting policies that do not work and cause huge damage to public services and the local economy. 

“I am sorry to hear that his council is determined to press ahead with this. The experience has been dreadful in Wales, where there have been deep concerns from the emergency services, which have found it difficult to go about their business, and massive costs have been piled on to business.” 

An Echo poll in November showed 82 per cent of 2,871 people would not support a blanket 20mph speed limit, 17 per cent would and one per cent didn't know. 

Those in favour of the scheme have said the roads “will be safer” as a result of the lower speeds. 

Council leader Vikki Slade said not every road will be 20mph, but “we need to assess the best way of making those roads safe”.  

Cllr Earl said: “We have a 97.5 per cent chance of survival if you’re struck by a vehicle going 20mph compared to 80 per cent if you’re going at 30mph.” 

Meanwhile Cycling Rebellion founder Adam Osman called on BCP Council to “be bold” and make all residential roads and high streets a default 20mph speed limit, adding the authority has “not gone far enough” in its proposal.