Ben Fogle divides opinion with speed limit demand after 'nearly dying'

Ben Fogle sparks debate after appearing on Good Morning Britain

Watch: Ben Fogle divides opinion with speed limit demand after 'nearly dying'

What did you miss?

Ben Fogle has sparked a debate on social media after he wants the speed limit changed in his village. Fogle "nearly died" when he was almost hit by a delivery van going 60mph on a single-track road.

The adventurer, 50, lives in a village in Buckinghamshire with his wife Marina and their children: Ludo and Iona. From scaling Mount Everest to exploring the South Pole, Fogle has lived the life of an adventurer and travelled all over the world with his TV work.

Presenter Kate Garraway said there was an "irony" because he has "nearly died" in situations all around the world including frostbite and strange flesh eating diseases but now Fogle has "nearly died" outside of his home.

Now Fogle wants to bring about change and see the speed limit brought down from 60mph. He said: "We use the road as a pavement. It's my pavement. So cars can drive 60mph on my pavement."

What, how and why?

Ben Fogle is campaigning for rural areas. (ITV screengrab)
Ben Fogle is campaigning for rural areas. (ITV screengrab)

Fogle explained the situation saying: "I've had so many people getting in touch with me. It shouldn’t take a celebrity to try and make a change here. I hope I can change what happens in our village. But there are so many people who are experiencing the same.

"I want my children, we moved to countryside so my children can walk from house to house. I don't want to put them in a car, the whole point is to be outside. I feel like an irresponsible father letting my children walk along our pavement."

The local council told Fogle they feel the speed limit is "appropriate". Fogle expressed his concerns saying: "The problem is the local council have responded and they said they feel the speed limit is appropriate, they haven't reported enough crashes. We've had so many crashes in our village but no one when they crash are going to admit to speeding."

Garraway had plenty of sympathy for Fogle. She said: "You yourself nearly died when the car stopped right in front of you – outside your house."

Fogle said it was a "close call" for him, something he says that has happened to him many times before. He said: "I don't want to be too dramatic about it. It was a close call. It's one of many by the way. This one the straw that broke the camel’s back."

He added: "I feel I want to live in a place where we feel safe walking house to house, which is why I moved there. Of course, this 20mph speed limit that has been introduced in many areas has been very controversial, especially in Wales. A lot of people don't like the blanket ban. It's almost given 20mph a bad name."

The Buckinghamshire Council's cabinet member for transport has responded to the incident saying: "I am sorry to hear of this resident's encounter with a dangerously driven delivery vehicle. Our speed limits are set against Department for Transport guidance.

"The guidance considers the hierarchy of the road, its character, traffic/pedestrian volumes, vehicle speeds, collision history, and infrastructure in the area to ensure limits are appropriate and legally enforceable. As always, we remain responsive to changes in local road and traffic conditions and consider speed limit changes on a case-by-case basis but cannot always agree to every request received.

"We are aware of the epetition that is calling for the speed limit through Fawley to be reduced from 60mph to 20mph. Local residents are of course welcome to add their names and the matter will then be considered formally. The epetition is open until 10 May 2024."

What did viewers say?

Ben Fogle shared his experience of the close call on GMB. (ITV screengrab)
Ben Fogle shared his experience of the close call on GMB. (ITV screengrab)

This segment got everyone talking on social media with people divided over the issue. Some people threw their support behind Fogle saying they have the same problem. One person wrote: "Agree with @Benfogle on this. Our village has a 40mph road running through it which is used as a cut through to a major A road. Speeding is rife & how there hasn’t been a fatality is more luck than judgement. And there’s always a loophole that prevents Local Authority action."

Others added: "@GMB and @Benfogle I live in a village so used to cars driving at these speeds but think it's ridiculous half the time you can't see what's coming also the roads are not kept well so full of pot holes so cars are swerving to miss them and don't worry if your there."

"Having family in a village with roads like that & its like playing Russian roulette walking out. "we can't agree to every request received" how about agreeing to the ones that are needed, country wide many villages need it #gmb."

"@Benfogle we have the same issue. Police say it’s not safe and North Lincs council say it’s unsuitable yet nothing done. Our MP told us to move. @GMB @edballs @kategarraway."

Ben Fogle was nearly hit by a 60mph van in the village where he lives. (ITV screengrab)
Ben Fogle was nearly hit by a 60mph van in the village where he lives. (ITV screengrab)

"We were in a car accident on a country road, we were doing 20 mph and another car hit us doing over 60!!!!! Now I live with a back injury!! Why have 60mph on roads like that it's time to change all rural road limits!!!!!!!"

However others felt strongly that the delivery driver had done nothing wrong in the scenario. Among the comments, one person wrote: "@Benfogle moves to countryside and expects cars not to drive legally on any roads he may be walking on with his posh family."

Others wrote: "#GMB Ben Fogle trying living in #Cumbria we have nothing but tiny lanes and roads. You are a celebrity so need special treatment ! We have main roads that go thro villages and have asked for speed limits Nothing. This is news !!! Get a grip."

"Shut up @Benfogle The driver did nothing wrong and you were walking in the road "95% of my village want 20mph" sounds like the village is full of NIMBYs, 50% driving EVs and the rest in Range Rovers #GMB."

"@GMB and @Benfogle And don’t walk your family down roads that have a 60mph speed limit if you don’t want to be ‘nearly killed by car doing 60mph’."

"We have narrower lanes in Lake District and cars don’t know how to drive them sometimes but bloody hell 100s of villages like his ! But he is a celebrity !! So wants a change. Ha. Not NEWs."

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