There are significant benefits to be had by raising the motorway speed limit to 80mph.


  Well that’s what we were told. We understood that industry would benefit from the reduced journey times making it and the country better off. Now campaign groups are saying that raising the motorway speed limit to 80mph will cost society as a whole an extra £1 billion a year. So who are we to believe?

The group campaigning against raising the speed limit, which is called, No to 80, is made up of the Campaign for Better Transport, Greenpeace and road safety charity Brake. What they are claiming is that it will cost the country over £62m in additional health costs to care for the casualties of the increased number of accidents that are to be expected, which would include the cost of the additional burden on the emergency services. Their claims seem to make sense.

Part of the £1 billion figure ia as a result of estimating the increased fuel costs to be £766 million. They claim there will be an additional twenty five deaths and one hundred serious injuries a year. The figure may not be right but there will inevitably be more deaths and serious injuries if the speed limit is increased. In addition to the aforementioned costs there will be substantial increase in carbon emissions.

If the aim of governments is to reduce carbon emissions then raising the speed limit on motorways seems an odd thing to do. At the moment the limit is 70 mph which many motorists stick to; with some going up to around 80 mph. If the limit is raised to 80 mph then it is quite likely that motorists who were quite happy at 70 mph will feel obliged to increase their speed and those who previously drove a 80 mph will presumably increase their speed to 90 mph. 

 Does the government accept that there will be additional road deaths and injuries but consider that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages? Would they still consider that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, if it were a member of their own family who made up one of the number in those additional road deaths?  



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