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Road Safety Foundation says UK roads ‘unfit’ for new 80mph limit

Posted on 21st May

The Road Safety Foundation (RSF) this week has stated UK’s motorway network isn’t currently safe enough for traffic to have the speed limit raised to 80mph.

According to their ‘Unfit For 80‘ report, the RSF believe existing motorways in the country do not offer enough protection to drivers and car occupants if the limit is increased. In new research, the report shows widespread faults in run-off protection doubling the rate of death and serious injury and shunt crashes rising in line with traffic flow.

The report outlines the negative economic effects of a higher speed limit, which include increased vehicle operating costs through higher fuel consumption; increased crashes and crash severity, resulting in raised crash costs; and the increased cost caused by delays from crashes.

The Road Safety Foundation recognises the argument that respect for the 70mph limit is poor and does not dismiss proposals to raise motorway speed limits but concludes: “Drivers who want to are already travelling at 80mph when they can. Economic benefits only arise if ’80 means 90’ and opinion surveys show no public support for that. However, large economic benefits arise from fixing the motorways systematically rather than raising the speed limit. If 80mph is to be trialled, it must be on controlled motorways such as sections of the M25 and M42, because England’s busy motorways cannot cope with 80mph without enforcement and the ability to lower speeds at busy times, bad weather, congestion and other hazards like spilt loads and crashes ahead.”

Read more from the Road Safety Foundation article.