Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has hinted that the speed limit on motorways in Great Britain could be raised to 80mph. This is due to electric vehicles growing in popularity, reducing concerns over the extra pollution that would accompany increased speeds by fuel cars.
With the rising number of vehicles with zero tailpipe emissions, there are discussions surrounding the raising of speed limit on motorways and dual carriageways.
Assessment was last done in 2011 to raise motorway speed limit to 80mph and it was determined that carbon emission addition was too high. The independent committee on climate change warned that it would generate an extra 2.2 million tonnes of CO2 each year.
Since then, the sales of electric cars, which produce no tailpipe emissions, have risen and figures show a 71 per cent year-on-year increase in EV registrations.
Despite increase in sales of electric cars, they still account for just one per cent of all new vehicles registered. Petrol vehicles account for 66 per cent of all registrations.
The Government is working towards banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars which produce higher levels of CO2 by 2040. The 70mph limit was set on Britain’s motorways in 1965 and supporters of a raised limit say a move to 80mph would increase productivity.
Road safety charity Brake has warned against any increase in the speed limit. The charity said “Given that speed is a critical factor in the severity of collisions, any move to increase the limit is a step in the wrong direction.
“Stopping distances at 80mph are over 120m – the equivalent of 30 car lengths and six car lengths more than at 70mph. Strict enforcement of the current speed limit and investment in on our high-speed road network with safety as the priority should be the focus, not an increase in speed.”