Ministers to consult on 80mph motorway speed limit
Published: 29th Sep 2011 17:58:44
The Department of Transport is to launch a consultation on increasing the speed limit on Britain's motorways from 70mph to 80mph.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said the current limit, introduced in 1965, was out of date due to "huge advances in safety and motoring technology".
The consultation begins this year with a view to raising the limit in 2013.
The Department for Transport says as many as 49% of drivers flout the current 70mph limit.
It says advances in technology have made cars much safer, contributing to a drop of more than 75% in the number of people killed on British roads since the 70mph limit was introduced.
As a result, it says it is time to look again at whether the current limit is "still appropriate".
Mr Hammond said Britain's roads "should be the arteries of a healthy economy".
What about enforcement? If police follow existing guidelines, many people could do 90mph before action is taken”
He added: "Now it is time to put Britain back in the fast lane of global economies and look again at the motorway speed limit which is nearly 50 years old, and out of date thanks to huge advances in safety and motoring technology.
"Increasing the motorway speed limit to 80mph would generate economic benefits of hundreds of millions of pounds through shorter journey times."
The government says road safety remains a priority, and says it is taking action to tackle uninsured drivers and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
BBC political correspondent Vicki Young said there had been some concerns within the cabinet about the change - Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is said to be concerned about road safety and and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne was worried about the pollution impact.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "There are good reasons for making 80 the new 70, and good reasons not to. Drivers travelling that 10mph quicker might reach their destination sooner but will use about 20% more fuel and emit 20% more CO2.
"There is also likely to be a slight increase in road casualties. And what about enforcement? If police follow existing guidelines, many people could do 90mph before action is taken."
At 08:44:54 in SportFormer world number one Luke Donald enhanced his bid for a first title since 2012 as a 66 put him two ahead after three rounds of the RBC Heritage.
At 08:40:49 in EnglandThe Royal Navy patrol vessel, HMS Dasher, will visit her twinned town in Cornwall later for a short stay.
At 08:10:40 in EnglandTwo illegal raves have been stopped from going ahead in Devon after police were alerted by members of the public.
At 06:58:11 in HeadlinesFour French journalists have arrived back in France after their release from 10 months of captivity in Syria, Agence France Presse reports.
At 05:51:11 in HeadlinesThe Easter break offers no break from the political spotlight for those hoping to win over voters in the general election in 13 months' time - at least judging from Easter Sunday's newspapers.
At 05:27:39 in EnglandThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have marked Easter Sunday by attending a church service in Sydney.
At 04:49:43 in HeadlinesFamilies of passengers on a sunken South Korean ferry have protested angrily over the rescue operation.
At 04:24:57 in HeadlinesA businessman appointed by the prime minister to head a quango managing public funds has resigned after reports that he had been declared bankrupt.
At 02:44:02 in HeadlinesOrthodox Easter messages from patriarchs in Kiev and Moscow have highlighted the deep division in Ukraine, where a tense stand-off is continuing in the east.
At 02:25:05 in HeadlinesIslamic extremism is the "most deadly" threat to charities in England and Wales, the Charity Commission has said.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. Ministers to consult on 80mph motorway speed limit [Online] (Updated 29th Sep 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/189988/Ministers-to-consult-on-80mph-motorway-speed-limit [Accessed 20th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
Four French journalists have arrived back in France after their release from 10 months of captivity in Syria, Agence France Presse reports.
The Royal Navy patrol vessel, HMS Dasher, will visit her twinned town in Cornwall later for a short stay.
BBC Two is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sunday, 20 April, having been home to many landmark programmes over the decades.
Two men have been seriously injured in a crash involving a motorcycle and a truck towing a boat in Ceredigion.
Millions of people dream of starting their own company, but only some are brave enough to take the leap.
A businessman appointed by the prime minister to head a quango managing public funds has resigned after reports that he had been declared bankrupt.