The hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative diseases characterised by progressive spasticity in the lower limbs. The nosology of autosomal recessive forms is complex as most mapped loci have been identified in only one or a few families and account for only a small percentage of patients. We used next-generation sequencing focused on the SPG30 chromosomal region on chromosome 2q37.3 in two patients from the original linked family. In addition, wide genome scan and candidate gene analysis were performed in a second family of Palestinian origin. We identified a single homozygous mutation, p.R350G, that was found to cosegregate with the disease in the SPG30 kindred and was absent in 970 control chromosomes while affecting a strongly conserved amino acid at the end of the motor domain of KIF1A. Homozygosity and linkage mapping followed by mutation screening of KIF1A allowed us to identify a second mutation, p.A255V, in the second family. Comparison of the clinical features with the nature of the mutations of all reported KIF1A families, including those reported recently with hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy, suggests phenotype-genotype correlations that may help to understand the mechanisms involved in motor neuron degeneration. We have shown that mutations in the KIF1A gene are responsible for SPG30 in two autosomal recessive HSP families. In published families, the nature of the KIF1A mutations seems to be of good predictor of the underlying phenotype and vice versa.