The government's wrong turn on 80mph

Posted by emmagibson — 30 September 2011 at 3:55pm - Comments
By pushing for strong European emissions laws, we can save a lot of oil
All rights reserved. Credit: © Greenpeace / Philip Reynaers
Government plans to increase the motorway speed limit are madness

I don't find myself agreeing with Jeremy Clarkson (well, Clarkson 2002) very often but transport minister Phillip Hammond really did get it wrong last night when he announced his intention to raise the motorway speed limit to 80mph.

When Mr Hammond said that the measure would boost the economy I nearly choked on my cup of tea.

It's hard to think of a measure more damaging to our fragile economy than leaving us vulnerable to oil imports from unstable parts of the world. As I said on Channel 4 news last night: the Saudi oil minister must be rubbing his hands with glee.

When the Libya unrest started and oil prices rocketed, the Spanish government took the opposite step and reduced the motorway speed limit in order to protect the Spanish economy. Instead, our government is intending to take action that will not only damage our economy but also increase the incentive for oil companies to search for the last drops of oil in the pristine wilderness that is the Arctic.

Governments and oil companies are already lining up to carve up the Arctic between them, with the impossibility of controlling or cleaning up an oil spill in such a remote and cold place a huge and real risk.

In a cynical attempt to win the "motorists' vote" our government has in one fell swoop increased our dependence on imported oil, increased the risk of road casualties, increased CO2 emissions and given a boost to destructive Arctic oil drilling. Well done Mr Hammond. 

This is unbelievable. No way in the world do you want to have a blow out at 80 mph.

Also, I thought the UK was in Km?

There is no way this is safe for any motorist on the road.

I completely agree, and have <a href="">shared my own perspective on Google+</a>.

Damn, let's try that link again:

Miles are still used for road signs in the UK, Ashley, though much else is metric. Most speedometers show both, which is useful if you take your car to the European 'mainland'.

To Ashley3471

You are so annoying! most people in the UK use mph for speed. I do and it says it on speen limits.

A government that is serious about reducing the country's carbon emissions would lower the M-way speed limit to 60mph.

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