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ABD responds to rumblings of possible motorway speed limit increase

3 Oct 2019

Secretary of State for Transport hints at raising speed from 70 to 80mph

Grant Shapps has revealed that he is considering altering the speed limits on some of the UK's roads. 

 

Speaking at the Conservative party conference in Manchester, Secretary of State for Transport, Mr Shapps, stated that he had been considering raising the 70mph speed limit to 80mph on motorways and reducing the limits around areas such with schools.

His comments have been prompted by an increase in the use of electric vehicles and the role that they play in the reduction of carbon emission levels.

 

The Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) responded by saying: "The ABD have long called for an overhaul of speed limits.  

 

"The current structure relies far too much on the whim of unqualified politicians both local and national and the limits they set often bear no relation to the road drivers see through their windscreens." 


ABD spokesperson Nigel Humphries said: “Limits need to be depoliticised and set to a strict criteria and to a nationally consistent standard. This should be based upon the 85th percentile method which has long been established as maximising safety.  

 

"Put simply, this sets limits at the speed which 85% of drivers would naturally not exceed in the absence of a limit. This method recognises that most drivers are able to set a safe speed to the conditions and places such safe drivers within the law whilst criminalising the reckless minority. It should be recognised that the 85th percentile speed on open motorways is around 79MPH.”

 

According to RAC’s Head of Roads Policy, Nicholas Lyes, Britain's motorways are the safest roads on the entire network and the current speed limits should remain in force if there may be any adverse effect in raising that limit.

 

In 1966 a temporary two-year speed limit of 70mph was imposed, this was made permanent in 1967 by Labour's transport secretary Barbara Castle.  
 

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons 

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