"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.
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