The Labour party is ready to back moves to raise the motorway speed limit to 80mph, as long as the Government ‘drops its blind spot on road safety’, according to the Telegraph.
As the Government prepares to publish a consultation on whether the limit should be increased, Maria Eagle, Labour’s transport spokesman, has abandoned the party’s long standing opposition to the move.
However, while backing a higher limit, Ms Eagle wants the Government to reintroduce targets for cutting deaths and injuries on Britain’s roads – which were scrapped in the Coalition’s road safety framework.
It is also rumoured that Justine Greening, the Transport Secretary, is less enthusiastic about raising the limit than her predecessor, Philip Hammond, reports the Telegraph.
Labour had been sceptical about the move following fears that pushing the legal motorway limit up to 80mph would mean that drivers would get away with driving at 90mph, because of the leeway allowed under existing police guidelines.
But Ms Eagle said that the higher limit could be introduced on roads where it is safe to do so, while elsewhere the 70mph ceiling could be cut where necessary on safety grounds.
She told the Telegraph: “We will not oppose an increase in the motorway speed limit to 80mph in certain circumstances provided Ministers drop their blind spot on road safety.
“However, rather than the blanket rise proposed by the Government, the right way to implement this policy is to extend variable speed limits to allow increases as well as decreases depending on local circumstances such as traffic flow and weather conditions.”
Labour would also look for a change in guidelines applied by the Association of Chief Police Officers which normally means a motorist will not face prosecution unless caught driving at 10% plus 2mph above the limit.
Ms Eagle added: “Any new limit must be strictly applied with no speed creep allowing the de facto limit to head towards 90mph and Ministers must explain how they will enforce it at a time of cuts to the police.”
Click here to read the full Telegraph report.