Friday, 30 September 2011

Drive Faster; Kill People Kill Planet

"Our Roads are among the safest in Europe, so lets change them." So says Tory Transport Minister Philip Hamond, who seems to want more deaths on the Road. The speed limit on motorways could be raised from 70 to 80 Mph, making them less safe, as well as increasing emissions.

Perhaps this isn't too surprising, it was Tories who called for an end to speed cameras and cuts to health and safety. Monbiot analyses it here, "Tory Boy racers".

The government has admitted that its proposal to increase the speed limit on motorways to 80mph would lead to more pollution and increase the risk of road deaths.

Ben Stewart of Greenpeace sais: "The more we learn about the new speeding rules, the worse it looks. This was meant to be the decade we finally made the big push to get off oil, instead we have a government driving hell for leather in the wrong direction."

Sian Berry, from the Campaign for Better Transport, agreed the DfT underestimated the impact: "In practice, real fuel consumption will increase much faster than the DfT traffic models predict, so carbon emissions will be higher." Previous research has shown that a medium-sized petrol car increases its emissions by 15% when going from 70mph to 80mph, while diesel cars with engines of more than two litres increase their emissions by 25%.

Meanwhile Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for South East England has welcomed today’s decision by the European Parliament to support 20mph speed limits in urban areas. The measure was part of a report, adopted by the parliament, which aims to improve road safety across the EU.

Decades ago in the USA high fuel prices cased a maximum speed limit of 55 mph. We should be looking at reducing the speed limit today to reduce emissions and increase safety. Here is a campaign to go back to 55 mph.


Steve said...

If you just deride everyone who disagrees with you, you aren't going to make much impact. I suspect most people who consider themselves Tories are completely alienated already, closely followed by any man who has an interest in cars and driving and then anyone who has to drive daily for their work to keep the wolf from the door. You even wind up people like me, who basically agree with everything you say, to the point of making me contrary for the sake of it.

And having three children - like you leader - is probably more irresponsible in the long term, with relation to emissions.

howard thomas said...

80mph in the dry and 60 mph in the wet might be a sensible compromise !
Incidentally I've just done a 550 mile round trip in about 27 hours mostly on motorways.
I know you won't be impressed Adrian, but I have to get things done !

sez.seymour said...

Sorry I don't get why the government are worrying about raising the speed limit on motorways to 80 in the face of all the other things to worry about. To be honest even on motorways traffic is such that I count myself lucky if I get up to 70! I can't see many people caring about this - not even Tories and any man (really Steve?? Man???? Shame!) with an interest in cars!

Adrian Windisch said...

Probbly hoping people wont notice the mess they are making of everything else Sez. There are some who will support the Tories thanks to this policy, but its still wrong to do it. It would cause more congestion, more deaths, more emissions, hard to see any benefit.

Steve, as I have said on many ocasions, there are many good people in the Tories, but some of them do fit into the 'Tory boy racer category', unfortunately.

howard thomas said...

A minimum speed limit (perhaps 45-50)on the motorway might also be a sensible idea , obviously when the road is clear !