In an effort to improve road safety on the major highways a new campaign against the 80mph motorway speed limits has been launched. Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond announced last October that the government was considering increasing the motorways speed limit up to 80mph, an announcement that received mixed reviews.
However, the debate is now set to open up again after the creation of the No to 80 coalitions that has been started by Brake the road safety charity. Other members of the coalition include Campaign to Protect Rural England, Campaign for Better Transport, Road Victims Trust, Greenpeace, and 10:10.
The group is asking for the public to speak out and state how they feel about the matter on their website to help them frame their upcoming consultation in regards to if the speed limit should be increased. They have also asked their supporters to sign a survey set up by Liz Voysey who lost her child in a road traffic accident. Supporters can also write their local MP to ask them to support the No to 80 campaign initiative.
At the moment the speed limit on the motorways is set at 70mph nationally which is a decision that was made back in 1965. Due to an increase in the amount of available safety technologies in cars accidents are actually safer with a decrease of 75% killed in rod accidents when compared to 1965. This is the reason that the Department of Transport now believes that the speed limit could be safely increased.
The Department of Transport also believes that increasing the speed limit could help deliver some economic benefits to the UK given the fact that an 80mph speed limit would help balance the benefits and costs of travel in the UK by aligning its speed limit with neighboring EU countries.
Although speed limits across Europe do vary, most of them are set at 80mph in other countries. However, No to 80 believes that a higher speed limit would actually cost more due to an increase in spending in road casualties, heightened environmental costs, and higher fuel costs.