In proposals to be unveiled by ministers it is possible that the national speed limit on motorways could be raised to 80mph. While on some rural roads there is talk of reducing the limits as the Government tries to reduce the number of motorist deaths and serious injuries. The speed limit overhaul will be proposals to be unveiled later in the year.
Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond has let it be known he is ready to increase the 70mph limit to 80 if it will help the British economy. The Government, since taking office, is trying to end the war on the motorist.
He has said there has to be a rigorous cost benefit analysis done of the speed limits which would examine a much wider range of issues besides just safety. If it were just for safety then there would be just 10 mph limits.
Research from 2009 that was carried out by the Department of Transport revealed that over 50% of traffic was already travelling at over 70 mph with over 37% between 70 and 79 mph.
If he raises the limits then the differences between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrat partners in the coalition will widen. For example Lib Dem Chris Huhne climate change secretary objects since the faster you drive the more fuel that is burned with an estimate of 20% more fuel burned if you drive 80mph versus 70mph.
One reason for the move to increase the limits is the belief that cars can now be driven safely at higher rates of speed than before. This has even been partially accepted by the police because of their 10% plus 2 guidelines. Meaning add 10% to the limit and the 2mph more and you reach 7 mph before the police will stop drivers.