Tiger.co.uk Debates the Proposed 70 – 80 MPH Speed Limit Increase

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Tiger.co.uk looks at the current plan to increase the motorway speed limit in the UK from 70 mph to 80 mph in 2013.

Is Going From 70-80 mph A Good Idea?

The UK has the safest roads in Europe, scoring the lowest road fatalities.

Since the Transport Secretary announced plans to increase the motorway speed limit from 70mph to 80 mph, there have been various discussions on whether this would be beneficial or detrimental to UK motorists.

A number of road and environmental organisations such as Greenpeace and RoadPeace have opposed the planned change, with concerns over the safety and environmental impact that the increased speed limit would have. Experts have estimated that an increase in the speed limit could result in as many as 25 more fatalities per year and a further 100 serious injuries.

Furthermore, the environmental impact that could be caused by this change could be severe, as faster speeds usually mean that more CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere. A petrol car travelling at 80 mph emits 14% more CO2, while diesel cars emit 25% more, with experts predicting that as much as 2.2 million more tonnes of CO2 will be released into the atmosphere each year.

However the Department of Transport has been reviewing the current motorway speed limit for some time. The current speed limit was set in 1965 and since then the advances in vehicle technology, design and safety features mean that vehicles today are much safer than they were in the mid-60s. This improvement in safety has contributed to a 75% reduction in motoring fatalities on British roads.

According to the Association of British Drivers which has published an assessment made by the European Assessment Programme (EuroRAP),the UK has the safest roads in Europe, scoring the lowest road fatalities per 100,000 population and deaths per billion vehicle-kilometres.

The Department of Transport has also proposed that the increased speed limit would generate important economic benefits, potentially worth millions of pounds a year; in addition, this would bring the UK in line with many EU countries.

Trying to find a balance between safety, economic and environmental factors regarding the proposed changes is an obvious challenge. Andrew Goulborn, Commercial Director for car insurance comparison site Tiger.co.uk commented:

“The proposed changes in the law could well be beneficial from a financial perspective but this should not be at the expense of road safety. The UK roads are amongst the safest in Europe but are also some of the most congested, so if we can reduce the congestion then an increase in speed limit could be beneficial – as long as it doesn’t lead to more accidents. From an insurance perspective if the change in the speed limit could reduce the number of accidents and convictions on our roads then it is possible that more people would have access to cheaper car insurance”

About http://www.tiger.co.uk

Tiger.co.uk is a trading name of Call Connection Ltd. Tiger.co.uk is a UK based, independent motor insurance comparison site, offering insurance quotes from over 150 motor insurance brands. Call Connection Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA number 308374).

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Jo Buck
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