Government pulls 80mph U-turn

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There won’t be any 80mph speed limit trials on our motorways next year because the government has changed its stance on the issue. Just recently we reported plans for the 80mph trials after a transport minister told Auto Express they would go ahead next year, but the government has since done a U-turn on the matter, dropping the plans. Patrick McLoughlin, transport minister, told The Times that, for now, the plans were on hold. He said: “Look, that's not a priority, to be absolutely honest. You would have to do trials in certain areas so it's not something that's a high priority.” Rumours abound that it’s been dropped to retain women voters, who are seen to be opposed to the higher speed limit. The decision to drop the 80mph trials has been met with as mixed a reaction as their announcement earlier this month.

Confusion reigns

Motoring organisation RAC, which supported the higher speed limit, is disappointed by the news. Pete Williams, RAC spokesman, said: “The RAC is disappointed at the comments about abandoning the 80mph speed limit increase on motorways. There had appeared to be a commitment from the Government to trial 80mph next summer and findings from our Report on Motoring 2013 supported the fact that the increase is something the majority of motorists would like to see. “Our view was that the trials were the right way forward. However, it seems that confusion still reigns and we don’t have clarity from the Government.” Maria Eagle, the shadow transport secretary, said: “Ministers should now end the confusion they have created and clearly rule out any increase in speed limits in this Parliament.” Safety campaigners say a higher motorway speed limit could cause more frequent and severe accidents, but many of you told us that you’d be in favour of raising the motorway speed limit to 80mph. For example, Chris Pay commented: “Sensible. 80mph in a modern car is safer than 60mph in a Ford Anglia – and there were no speed limits in those days!” and James Harrison asked: “It works on the Continent, so why not here?” But not all of you were convinced. Diz Morley said: “The legal limit of 70mph should remain as it is. There are already law-breakers who think it’s OK to do whatever speed they like. Not to mention the tailgaters, who think ‘the idiot in front is going ‘too slow’, and would never understand the fact that they are the idiot.” What do you think about the government’s change of heart? Is it a good decision to keep the motorway speed limit at 70mph? Is the government pandering to voters? Are you a female driver who thinks the limit should be 80mph? Let us know in the comments below! [text-blocks id=cta-banner]

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