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Dft have not ruled out 80mph Motorway Speed Limit

posted on Oct 02 2012 by Sam Jones

Dft have not ruled out 80mph Motorway Speed Limit

The possible advantages and disadvantages of an 80mph motorway speed limit are still being considered by the Government. The Department for Transport (DfT) are considering where and when the increase would apply, should it go ahead, and are running an impact assessment of an 80mph speed limit on motorway sections that have variable speed limits.

It has been less than a year since the topic was first raised by former Secretary of State for Transport Philip Hammond who suggested an increase would be beneficial for business. However, current Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is not as sure that it's a good idea and is concerned about how such an increase could affect road safety.

Many fleets were left unconvinced when Hammond presented his business case believing an increase in fuel costs would outweigh any benefits the increase in speed limit would bring about. Higher CO2 emissions coupled with possible 20% hikes in fuel consumption make the debate even more cloudy. The Road Traffic Speed report by the Transport Committee also suggested that an 80mph limit would be detrimental to journey times as it would create an uneven flow on busy motorways.

Deputy Chief Executive of road safety charity Brake, Julie Townsend, believes more people would be seriously injured and killed if the increase was to go ahead. Despite this the Association of British Drivers support the use of the 85th percentile speed which an 80mph limit would match. The proposed change really is splitting camps and it will be interesting to see if the Government will go ahead with it.