With trials proposed for an 80mph speed limit, the ABD are asking if the DfT are trying to fix the trials by running them on congested motorways.
When the ConDems came to power, and Philip Hammond was made Transport Secretary, we did hope that might be a sign that government policy on cars would finally make sense, especially when Philip Hammond declared ‘The war on motorists is over‘.
Philip’s aim was to look at stuff like national speed limits and create a system that made sense, rather than the silly situation we have where everyone knows you won’t get nicked for 85mph on a motorway unless plod got out of bed the wrong side. But Philip has gone off to wage war, and the DfT look set to baulk even a modest change in national speed limits.
Sadly, instead of grasping the nettle and looking at a range of options, the DfT are proposing just an increase in the national speed limit to 80mph, and even that looks doomed from the start after they revealed where it will be trialled.
Instead of choosing three-lane, free-flowing motorways, the DfT are going to trial the 80mph on motorways that already have variable speed limits in place – by definition the most congested motorways we have where an 80mph speed is hardly appropriate.
The ABD (Association of British Drivers) is convinced this is a tactic to scupper the trials and has called for the DfT to re-think their plans and trial the 80mph limit on more appropriate road. But we’d go further.
Instead of a token rise to 80mph, we’d suggest different options:
- Set the national speed limit to 90mph
- Introduce variable speed limits on every motorway.
- Reduce the speed limit according to weather and volume of traffic
- Ban HGVs from overtaking on two lane motorways
- Make it an imperative to re-open road after an accident as soon as possible
- Introduce 20mph in more places where children abound – but make those variable too
- Issue fixed penalties to drivers who sit in lane two or three on an empty motorway
All of which would appeal to the common sense of motorists and take away the perception that road policy is governed by revenue gathering.
Sadly, none of it will happen. Not even the 80mph limit, if the DfT have their way.