Warning over motorway speed rise

A road safety charity is warning against raising motorway speed limits following newspaper reports that the increase to 80mph could be made legal by July.

The charity Brake has said that the move to raise motorway speed limits from 70mph to 80mph would undermine previous progress made in reducing the number of UK road casualties.

The warning follows reports in the Daily Mail newspaper which suggest the planned increase could be made law before MPs go on their summer leave in July.

Research has shown that the 10mph rise in speed limits would increase motorway casualties by 5% to 10%, along with raising fuel consumption.

The rise in speed limit would also increase carbon emissions, as at 80mph a petrol car emits 14% more CO2 per kilometre than driving at 70mph, while diesel cars emit 25% more.

The Transport Committee Report on Road Traffic Speed found that increasing motorway speeds would do little to reduce average journey times, adding that on the congested motorways of England an 80mph limit might well increase them because it would create an uneven flow.

Ellen Booth, campaigns officer at Brake, said: "It would be simply immoral to raise motorway speed limits when research indicates it would lead to more deaths and serious injuries, which cause devastating trauma to families, and which are a considerable economic burden.

"It would also fly in the face of this Government's commitment to lower carbon emissions. In short, a decision to raise the motorway limit would go against safety, environmental and financial sense."

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