Fleet managers have been polled on the Coalition’s suggested 80mph motorway speed limit increase, with the majority of respondents indicating it would be beneficial to UK businesses.
Navman Wireless opened the discussion on its blog inviting its customers and fleet managers representing a broad spectrum of fleets from across the UK to take part.
To date, 68 percent, of participants, largely representing SME business, have voted in favour of the increase. The results appear to indicate that many business owners welcome the potential for enhanced productivity and customer service that a faster speed limit could facilitate, conflicting with the widely perceived need to reduce fuel spend and carbon emissions.
However, the issue is far from clear-cut, with lively debate underway on the poll’s comment board.
The apparent simplicity of the change belies a number of complex factors it opens for consideration. The potential for increased productivity must be balanced against fuel costs, safety and environmental impact – or whether it will have any real impact on fleets at all.
The effectiveness of the current limit and the implications for a future increase have been called into question. Recognising that many drivers ignore the current limit, some respondents consider that a rise to 80mph will make little difference – or will encourage driving at speeds closer to 90mph.
In addition, challenges are being made as to whether a change in speed limit is the best way to improve motorway driving – with calls for more investment in infrastructure, such as additional lanes and ‘no overtaking’ sections for HGVs on busy stretches of road. Poor driver behaviour, such as incorrect use of the middle lane, is highlighted as another significant barrier to productivity.