Cars: Britain swings into the fast lane

30 September 2011
The Times

The Times, 30 September 2011

“Full speed ahead,” headlines The Times, revealing that Britain’s Transport secretary plans to increase the speed limit to 80 miles per hour (128kph) by 2013. Reasons cited by the government include that the 49 per cent of drivers currently flout the 70mph (112kph) limit, and that technological advances have made cars safer – “contributing to a fall of more that 75 per cent in the number of people killed on British roads since 1965.” According to the Secretary, “Increasing the motorway speed limit to 80 mph would generate economic benefits of hundreds of millions of pounds through shorter journey times.” Environmentalists are naturally unhappy with the news. Said a Greenpeace campaigner – “The Saudi oil minister will rub his hands with glee when he learns of the decision. At a time when North Sea oil production is going down and we are ever more reliant upon unstable regimes and fragile environments to fuel our cars, the Transport Secretary’s decision will raise oil consumption and carbon emissions when we need to cut both.”