Pressure group opposes 80mph limit
A coalition of high-profile road safety and environmental organisations have today (18th May) launched a campaign protesting the government's plans to increase speed limits on motorways to 80mph.
The ‘No to 80’ coalition is highlighting the huge costs to society of the proposal, which it predicts will exceed £1 billion annually in economic terms, mean more families needlessly suffering from motorway crashes and casualties, millions of tonnes more carbon pumped into the atmosphere each year and further damage to tranquillity in the countryside.
The coalition, coordinated by road safety charity Brake, comprises Brake, Campaign for Better Transport, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Greenpeace, Roadpeace, Road Victims Trust and 10:10. They are appealing to the government to ditch its “inhumane” proposal for 80mph limits and instead set out how it will deliver social, environmental and economic benefits associated with improved safety and speed management on these roads. The coalition is today writing to Transport Secretary Justine Greening to request a meeting reviewing the evidence against 80mph limits.
Members of the public and other organisations are being urged to sign up to the campaign at http://noto80.wordpress.com/ or on Facebook.
80mph limits are predicted by experts to result in more violent road deaths and serious injuries, causing unnecessary trauma and suffering. One academic estimated it would lead to 25 extra deaths and 100 more serious injuries each year. It is also expected to mean 2.2 million more tonnes of carbon emissions each year. The No to 80 coalition estimates the combined economic cost to the public of 80mph limits to be £1 billion annually. This figure includes:
• £62.4 million costs from road casualties, including costs to health and emergency services and human costs.
• £180.4 million in carbon costs.
• £766.6 million in fuel costs.
Conversely, the potential benefits to society and the economy of 80mph limits are questionable. Aside from oil companies, businesses don’t stand to benefit. Trucks won’t go faster because they are speed limited.
Even for car and van drivers, 80mph limits are unlikely to make a significant difference to journey times on our congested network; in fact, says No to 80, uneven traffic flow and increased crashes could even cause more hold-ups.