By John Simpson 18 May 2012
Led by road safety charity Brake, the coalition – comprising the Campaign for Better Transport, Greenpeace, Roadpeace, Road Victims Trust and 10:10 – has launched the ‘No to 80’ campaign to highlight the cost and safety implications of officially increasing the speed limit from 70mph to 80mph as well as the consequences of more CO2 emissions.
The coalition is calling on the government to ditch its proposal for 80mph limits and instead pursue how social, environmental and economic benefits can be brought about with improved safety and speed management on UK roads.
Julie Townsend, Deputy Chief Executive of Brake, hopes the coalition will have the opportunity to meet with Transport Secretary Justine Greening and discuss evidence that suggests raising motorway limits would be dangerous, costly and damaging.
“Experts predict it would lead to more lives being brutally cut short and more people suffering debilitating injuries,” she commented.
“At the same time, the economic argument being used to defend the proposal does not stand up to scrutiny and the average driver will gain little to nothing in journey time savings. It is time the government faced facts and withdrew these senseless plans.”
More dangerous, more polluting
The coalition claims that raising the speed limit to 80mph would cost the country £1billion a year; £62.4m from road casualties, £180.4m in carbon costs and £766.6m in extra fuel consumption.
“There is no compelling case for increasing motorway speed limits to 80mph,” added Richard Hebditch, Campaign for Better Transport’s Campaigns director.
“While the Treasury might benefit from more fuel duty revenue as drivers used more petrol, for ordinary motorists it would just make for a more dangerous and more polluting journey. Any change to speed limits must support moves to cut collisions and carbon, not add to them.”
A report published earlier this week claimed that Britain’s motorway network are not safe enough to handle 80mph speeds [link].
Visit www.noto80.org for more details.
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