Will the 80mph speed limit happen?

15 June 2013

car crash Stephen Hammond, the road safety minister, has once again been going on about a higher speed limit, even though other ministers are skeptical.

Hammond is suggesting that trials of the higher speed limit will be carried out in 2014, which will go nationwide if they are found to be successful.

He told Auto Express magazine the idea was “not dead”, adding: "We are thinking about it. We are thinking about how we could trial it rather than go to a consultation. It would be important to have a good evidence-based trial"

"My message, though, is that it [80mph] has not been lost. Our philosophy is that we should have the right speed on the right road. Drivers will have noticed that we have made some significant changes to guidelines to local authorities about lower speeds in rural areas. We have also made it easier to introduce 20mph limits and zones."

One of the main reasons behind this increase is that it would reduce congestion, which would in turn, boost the economy (by "hundreds of millions of pounds" according to Hammond) but road safety campaigners and environmental groups don't agree.

Brake, the road safety group, think an 80mph speed limit would result in more fatal accidents and serious injuries.

What do you think?

TOPICS:   Motoring


  • Han S.
    No one pays attention to thecurrent 70 mph limit, so it won't make any difference!
  • Han S.
    Get yourself a different name dickhead
  • Steve B.
    It's a horrible thought. Motorways could hardly be less grim, so let's speed up the procession of armoured pods! Even if it doesn't produce more deaths (seems hard to imagine that INCREASING the kinetic energy in the whole terrifying system could do otherwise) it'll make these marble runs more hostile to novices and non-boy racers, more dangerous for the people who have to work on them (have you seen the mortality rates for motorway workers?) and, of course, a 14% increase in speed = a much bigger increase in fuel burned. Madness.
  • TheOriginalHanSolo
    Ahem, you guys...
  • San H.
    They seem to handle high speeds on the motorways in Germany quite well. I don't see the increase in speed as a problem, its the poor standard of driving that worries me about any increase. We need people that pass their test to spend a year learning to drive before they are allowed near the motorway. They should be then required to take a second test to before being allowed to use them. Generally motorways are the safest part of our road system, you're more likely to see deaths on smaller country roads. I've noticed recently that a lot of these have gone down from the national speed limit to a more acceptable, safer speed. We also need to remove the greed aspect from speeding, fines are seen as a cash cow for government. Just points and bans for speeding would in my opinion be better and shift attention back to what regulating speed is about, safety.
  • WAH
    On some roads in the Netherlands the speed limit was increased from 120km/h (roughly 75mph) to 130 km/h (roughly 80mph). During initial stages the average speed increased only by 3km/h, no indication if this was during rush hour or 'off peak'. 132 Million will be used to make infrastructure better (longer slip roads, signage, road markings) with extra 50 million to counter the increased noise pollution. To counter expected increase in deaths from 3 to 7 and serious injuries from 17 to 34, an additional 85 million euro was allocated to improve safety measures (barriers). As noted before fuel efficiency drops sharply as speed increases. So, at best we get a small increase in average speed, at a cost of money (and lives) and definite increased noise levels and fuel usage.
  • Han J.
    This is to ensure that we spend more on fuel as the UK's consumption has been falling. More tax please.
  • Noghar
    I wish the fecking Tories would make up their mind. As a minister in Thatcher's government, or possibly Major's, Heseltine brought in adjustable speed limits on the basis that slightly slower traffic would create more space on the motorways. His logic was that cars travelling more slowly need less distance between them. Although I think Heseltine is a twat, that still makes more sense than this bollocks Cameron's numpties come out with. The UK will gain hundreds of millions of pounds if some drivers go faster... my arse.
  • Slow H.
    They might as well bring back the dog licence or radio licence for all the notice people will take of it. They'd be better off cracking down on existing ignored laws, like uninsured cars or the use of mobile phones.
  • White M.
    Well I'm currently driving down the M4 and nobody seems to care about the 70mph limit so why not.
  • 92 O.
    I usually only drive at 66 mph on motorways (not in the middle lane) since I'm not in a rush and it saves enough on petrol in the long-term to make it worthwhile to me. Raising the limit to 80 mph would make me uncomfortable driving 14 mph below the speed limit (with others rushing past at (let's face it) 90-100 mph) and I feel I'd be congesting the road doing current cruising speed. Raise it to 80 mph? Sure, but also reduce the duty on fuel please.
  • Strawbear
    Aren't U-Turns more dangerous at 80mph?
  • Audi A.
    I agree with the person that suggests they should clamp down on phone use while driving before they increase the speed limit. That is why I use an ipad when I drive.
  • Ban S.
    Bunch of migrants I pass travelling in the other direction every morning, hanging inches off each others asses, sitting further and further out thinking their shitty Vectra/Laguna 'can make it'. Drop back 5+ yards and you needn't sit so close you retards. 80mph means these twats will crash more.
  • Captain.Cretin
    Since a large number of car makers set the speedo to read 10% over, all this will mean is careful drivers actually driving at 70mph again. Dont believe me? Check your speedo against a GPS device. And of course this is about raising tax revenues; if only they were brave enough to raise the speed limit to 100mph, there would be enough tax money to build gold plated hospitals and schools - or actually buy decent kit for our armed services.
  • OldGit
    Why not trial it on the M6 toll road? Not much traffic and anyone who pays to use it can obviously afford the extra fuel used.
  • Mike O.
    Most amusing all the whining about fuel economy. Its a limit, its not compulsory. As long as your not trundling along in a daze in the middle lane at 50mph, whats the problem with people passing you who do want to go at 80?
  • Phuck Y.
    Nice. Then I'll be able to do 90mph in my BMW/Audi and get away with it.
  • B1zarroPrim3
    Why not make it 88mph and then we can get to places much quicker?
  • Whisky
    Wouldn't be an issue during the week but would be worrying at the weekends where the none motorway users get on them and the standard of driving is shocking. I do 60 as opposed to 80 when going to work anyway as it saves me about 1200 quid a year in diesel. 80 only gets me there 10 mind quicker on average and I'm not normally in a rush to get there anyway.
  • LancerVancer
    I limit my speed in the week, then have it large at the weekends.
  • Seen M.
    What has been found in the US is that drivers pick the speed they feel comfortable and safe at with no regard to what number is painted(or displayed on a variable speed limit sign). And if the limit is posted close the 85th percentile speed actual maximums drop within the average that was clocked. What would be the best idea for safety is to do speed average tests then post what ever speed the averages tests show.
  • SB
    Posted by White Van Man • June 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm "Well I’m currently driving down the M4 and nobody seems to care about the 70mph limit so why not." I'm interested you managed to post a comment in here whilst driving down the M4. What mixed bag are govt trying to send out? Aren't we supposed to be more green, and moving onto hybrid/electric. Not many electric cars are fast enough to hit 70, and hybrids lose all their advantages, and in fact become less efficient than conventional cars after 20mph.
  • MartinRH
    @Noghar, valm down dear it's not an election year ;-) They are all the same, what we currently have is a ToryDemLab coalition. Next it may well be a LabDemTory one, but it's all the same result, we get sccewed, they and their buddies get richer. After 58 years, I may have figured (some of) this thing out... "The Gov works in mysterious ways"! We plebs who pick up the tab are not smart enough to understand LogicusPoliticumReversum... Increase the motorway speed limit to bring death figures per travelled mile back up into line with all other roads. It's brilliant, Hammond! Clever boy! Here, have a shiny star to put on the classroom clever snots board. It is such a wonderfully efficient "idea". The Gov can increase the workload on the already overstretched public services like emergency services and hospitals, increase the take of the already onerous fuel taxES, kill off a few more motoring OAP's hence save pensions spend, give some nice lucrative jobs to their sponsors in dozens of companies to increase MP's net personal wealth, and more... @SB it's so clever of young Stephen that I missed it at first too. By Increasing fossil fuel consumption he can even bank a claim to be green by bringing nearer the date that the oil becomes so expensive that British kitchen table inventiveness will be re-awakened and we'll make our own "renewable" energy collectors to power life's little luxuries like cars, heat, light... I can imagine his namesake Fry now saying, "Oh what a Luvvly Boy!"
  • Sham S.
    Stick the limit up to 80 mph, and enforce it more rigorously.
  • Queef
    Do it for 6 months and see if it is better or not, that is what a trial is for isnt it?!
  • White M.
    @SB Thank you, caught one fish today.
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