Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has poured cold water on claims that the British speed limit might be increased to 80mph. Plans were afoot to increase the UK motorway speed limit to 80mph, however McLoughlin has told Sky News:
“What’s very important is that we never lose sight of the issue of safety on our roads. Speed does kill. First and foremost in my mind will be road safety, but I will look at the evidence – there’s a consultation taking place on that. But nothing will detract me from what is safe overall, and road safety and our record on road safety has to be paramount in my mind. What we have to have in our mind is that speed does kill and most of the very serious accidents that take place on our roads involve people disobeying the speed limits.”
McLoughlin’s comments are the strongest indication yet than the 70mph speed limit will remain in place. It’s a position which undermines the proposal put forth by his Transport Department predecessor Philip Hammond, however, one which independent road safety charity Brake have applauded.
Julie Townsend, Brake’s deputy chief executive, added:
“Managing traffic speed is crucial in preventing needless deaths and injuries. We look forward to hearing more from the new transport ministers on how they will usher in a better era for safety on roads and help to counter the recent increase in casualties.”
The Institute of Advanced Motorists’ director of policy, Neil Greig, added his view:
“There was never any conclusive evidence that road safety, the environment or the economy would benefit from an increase in the motorway speed limit. The government’s top priority must now be ensuring that last year’s surprise increase in deaths on the UK’s roads does not become a trend.”