Britain to raise motorway speed limit to 80mph

Britain plans to raise the speed limit on the country’s motorway system from 70mph to 80mph. The government expects the move to increase economic efficiency and commuter satisfaction through the reduction of journey times.

Studies have shown that up to 49% of all drivers routinely break the existing speed limit. “These speed limits were set in the 1960s; cars have changed, motoring has changed. It’s got enormously safer,” said transport secretary Philip Hammond.

The move has been met with opposition from environmental groups. Detractors of the plan fear increased oil consumption and carbon emissions. The government has also been blamed for failing to invest sufficiently in alternative transportation modes like bike and rail.

Some argue that the increased speed limit may be useless due to high traffic congestion. Data from the TomTom HD Traffic Center show that at any given time in July, there was an average of 148 miles of traffic jams on British roads.

The news article in The Guardian can be found here.