80mph please

The present national speed limit of 70mph has been in place for almost 50 years. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond announced in February that, in a review of road safety, the Government would consider raising the speed limit to 80mph.

The idea with this is that a reduction in journey times would bring about economic benefits and make people's lives a little easier. Last week the Institute of Advance Motorists published the results of the survey, showing that 'more than 70 per cent of drivers and riders think the UK motorway speed limit should be raised by at least 10mph.'

Kath Hartley, from anti-speeding charity Brake, said: 'We desperately need greater enforcement of the existing limit, rather than an increase.'

But with many people regularly exceeding the current speed limit, plus the existence of safety features such as disc brakes, anti-lock systems, seat belts, airbags, reinforced bodies and statutory crash-testing standards making modern cars safer at higher speeds than ever, should the arbitrary 70 mph limit, introduced in 1964 as an 'experimental measure' following a spate of crashes on the M1, then Britain's only motorway, still stand?

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