The charity Brake is warning that raising the motorway speed limit would be a highly dangerous strategy that would undermine progress in reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on UK roads. Research shows that raising the limit from 70 to 80mph could result in a 5-10% increase in motorway casualties.
A rise in motorway speeds would also increase UK fuel consumption and carbon emissions, both of which are of keen concern to the public. At 80mph, a petrol car emits 14% more CO2 per kilometre than driving at 70mpm, while diesel cars emit 25% more.
In the past few weeks, Spain’s government announced a decrease in their motorway limit to 68mph in a bid to cut the country’s reliance on oil in an increasingly unstable market and help consumers manage the price hikes they are experiencing at the pumps.
Ellen Booth, Brake’s campaigns officer, 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.”