Opposition calls for pause on 80mph motorway plans
Labour has called on the Government to pause on its plans to raise the motorway speed limit to 80mph.
In September the Government announced a consultation with a view to raising the national speed limit from 70mph to 80mph.
However, Maria Eagle, shadow transport secretary, yesterday urged Justine Greening, the new transport secretary, to fully consider the conclusions of the M5 investigation before "steps are taken to advance any proposals in her department that may affect road safety".
In a separate comment, Andrew Howard, head of road safety at the AA, said that the M5 crash would have been worse had the 80mph limit been in force.
Quoted in ‘Walesonline.co.uk’, Mr Howard said: “The physics is quite straightforward. If you’re going faster you’re going to hit it harder, which obviously means it’s worse for the people involved in the collision.”
Mr Howard added that there was “dramatic proof” the existing 70mph limit was not safe for the road that was allegedly hit by a blanket of smoke from a nearby fireworks display. Despite his comments, Mr Howard insisted that the AA remains neutral on the question of an 80mph limit.
The IAM has called on the Government to pilot an 80mph limit on a controlled and managed motorway to assess its practicality and safety, and road users’ reaction to it. The IAM is also advocating a full risk assessment of an increase in the speed limit, and strict enforcement to ensure greater compliance with the limit.