We have been hearing a lot about the possibility of raising the speed limit to 80 mph this year but how much do you think it would cost to do this?
Dunno, you might well say. I suppose you would need to update the Highway Code, paint some new speed limit signs and maybe put an advert on the telly. A couple of million quid?
Well, it seems that our friends at the road safety charity Brake, Greenpeace and the Campaign for Better Transport have had their calculators out and come up with the rather startling figure of £1 billion a year.
This frankly unbelievable sum includes £766 million in higher fuel costs and £62 million in health costs. The organisations that have come up with the figures are starting a campaign called – rather catchily I think- No to 80.
They also claim that raising the limit to 80 would cause 25 extra road deaths a year and 100 serious injuries. Oh, and over 2 million tonnes of carbon emissions.
Lives Brutally Cut Short
I agree that this is a serious matter but after reading the figure I couldn’t help the word “scaremongering” from floating unbidden into my head. This thought was backed up by the campaign director Richard Hebditch talking about “lives being brutally cut short” and “debilitating injuries”.
There definitely needs to be some research done on this subject but I find it hard to believe these latest figures. Personally I would be comfortable with a limit of 80 and I think that there are certainly parts of the UK motorway network where it could be applied without much problem.
Let’s hope that we can get some serious debate going rather than having to listen to groups who are firmly entrenched in one camp or the other refusing to listen to other opinions.