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The need for more speed

Raising the speed limit to 80 mph will increase road casualties, claim road safety authorities.

Two weeks ago Spain lowered its own speed limit to decrease fuel consumption. Now it seems Britain will go the other way and raise hers - perhaps before this July.

Ministers are weighing up the economic benefits of shorter journey times against increased road safety issues.

Supporters of the rise say that the current limit is outdated. It came in 50 years ago, and cars are a lot safer these days.

But opponents have dubbed it a ‘highly dangerous’ move. Ellen Booth of charity Brake said: ‘It would be simply immoral to raise motorway speed limits when research indicates it would lead to more deaths and serious injuries, which cause devastating trauma to families, and which are a considerable economic burden. It would also fly in the face of this government's commitment to lower carbon emissions.’

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), He told Autoblog: ‘It would be a mistake to increase the limit on motorways because higher speeds would mean not only more crashes, but more severe crashes.’

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