Transport Secretary Considering Increasing Motorway Speed Limit To 80mph
The government is considering increasing the national maximum speed limit to 80mph.
Transport secretary, Grant Shapps, has said that he's been 'thinking about' the issue of speed limits and says that the increased use of electric cars means that the emissions it would create would be offset.
He also said that he is considering reducing the speed limit around schools.
Speaking at the Conservative party conference in Manchester, Shapps said: "On 80mph speed limits, I've been thinking about this issue and maybe even sought advice on the subject of late.
"I think there is an argument for looking at our speed limits, both in terms of higher speed limits and actually lower limits - 20mph outside of schools.
"When it was last looked at in 2011, reviewing the last submission to ministers on the subject, it was thought the carbon emission addition would be too great.
"I think there is an argument that once you have increased the level of electrification and therefore decreased or entirely removed carbon, that you might look at those things again."
He had said that owning an electric car made him reconsider the effect it would have on the environment.
But RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes doesn't think that emissions are the biggest problem with increased speed limits, saying that it's entirely 'an issue of safety'.
Speaking to Mail Online, he said: "Part of the problem is that at present, there is a high proportion of drivers that break the 70mph limit, and drive nearer to 80mph.
"If the speed limit were to be changed to 80mph, there is a risk that the new default becomes even higher.
"Our motorways are currently the safest roads on the entire network, and we wouldn't want to see anything happen that changes this.
"So unless there is compelling evidence that a change in the limit on some stretches of road would not adversely affect safety, the current limit should be retained."
However, the emissions that are reduced from the actual car would be made up by the need to charge it more often. The independent committee on climate change said that increasing the speed from 70mph to 80mph could create extra 2.2 million tons of CO2 annually.
In terms of the dangers of increasing the speed limit to by 14 percent to 80 mph, it would increase the average stopping distance on motorways to 120 metres (30 car lengths), a 25 percent increase on the 96 metre stopping distance found at 70 mph.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: uk news