Raise the limit to 80mph

ONCE again, the possibility of raising the motorway speed limit to 80mph is being mentioned (Argus, May 25), almost guaranteed to bring on a fit of the vapours to the ‘save the polar bears’ brigade. Yet, it has been frequently reported that India and China between them, pump more pollution into the atmosphere in a day than Great Britain does in six months. A statistic that the environmental lobby (in this country at least) for some strange reason are not always happy when they are reminded of it.

The various road safety groups that oppose raising the limit say that there will be more accidents and cost the country an extra £1 billion a year. But how can they be sure? The causes of motorway accidents are many and various, a higher limit does’nt necessarily mean an increase. Several other European countries have allowed higher speeds for years. Are their accidents rates better or worse than ours and is it possible to make a comparison?

Motorways are purpose-built for higher vehicle speeds and statistically are the safest type of road, and with proper and regular enforcement of driving standards they should continue to be so.

A Greenhalgh, Ross St, Newport

Comments (3)

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4:46pm Fri 1 Jun 12

Mike Roland says...

I agree that the causes of motoway accidents are many and varied, but as speed is a major factor in many of them, any increase in the speed limit is bound to result in more road casualties. Additionally, I don't doubt the accuracy of your comparison between Britain's pollution levels with those of India and China combined, but are you really surprised that the statistics are ignored? Maybe groups such as the "save the polar bears brigade" aren't as daft as you think.
I agree that the causes of motoway accidents are many and varied, but as speed is a major factor in many of them, any increase in the speed limit is bound to result in more road casualties. Additionally, I don't doubt the accuracy of your comparison between Britain's pollution levels with those of India and China combined, but are you really surprised that the statistics are ignored? Maybe groups such as the "save the polar bears brigade" aren't as daft as you think. Mike Roland

8:04am Sat 2 Jun 12

Bobevans says...

Speed is a factor in the majority of accidents. Most distances travelled in the UK are quite short and most UK mortoways are congested and many parts of UK motoways such as parts of the M4 are not even suitable for 70mph.

70mph is a sensible maximum speed for UK motorways.

Going faster increases the risk of serious accidents as well as increasing fuel consumption
Speed is a factor in the majority of accidents. Most distances travelled in the UK are quite short and most UK mortoways are congested and many parts of UK motoways such as parts of the M4 are not even suitable for 70mph. 70mph is a sensible maximum speed for UK motorways. Going faster increases the risk of serious accidents as well as increasing fuel consumption Bobevans

11:49am Tue 5 Jun 12

Dee-Gee says...

The statistic is ignored because it's meaningless. The population of the UK is only about 2% of the combined population of India and China, so you'd expect about 50 times more pollution.
The statistic is ignored because it's meaningless. The population of the UK is only about 2% of the combined population of India and China, so you'd expect about 50 times more pollution. Dee-Gee

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