The coalition government’s Transport Secretary is set to announce that the UK motorway speed limit will be increased from its current 70 mph up to 80 mph.The Guardian says that this speed limit increase will be a ‘victory’ for the Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, who wants to stop the portrayal of government as being anti-motorist.
The concerns he would have had to overcome are from the Green lobby that this will not help with the fight against man-made climate change and from the health lobby who say that increasing the speed limit will increase the number of road deaths.
There is however expected to be, as part of the changes, an increase in the number of 20 mph zones in urban areas.
But how will this change anything realistically? Many motorways are still log-jammed at various choke-points during the rush hours making even the current top speed of 70 mph somewhat academic.
On this basis one would expect people to utilise the extra speed available to them during the day and at night when the roads are far clearer.
Then of course is the ever vexed question of how much more the insurers will charge for the inevitably increased risk.