Increasing the speed limit - your opinion

  • Motorway speed limits could rise to 80mph
  • Have you changed your mind after M5 tragedy?
  • Take part in our poll on speed limit proposals

Brake, the road safety charity, has called the proposals to raise the motorway speed limit “shameful” following the horrific crash on the M5 that claimed the lives of seven people.

The government, which intends to increase the limit from 70mph to 80mph, is looking to boost the economy by cutting journey times. The changes are also aimed at reflecting the leaps and bounds in vehicle safety systems, such as electronic stability control.

Chief executive of Brake, Mary Williams OBE, said: “The minister Philip Hammond is partially arguing that this move is a good idea because a proportion of drivers break the 70mph limit and that their law breaking needs to be made ‘legitimate’. Actions of law breakers should not be legitimised. This is a selfish move that will achieve nothing other than carnage and is pandering to an uninformed few.”

These plans also contradict proposals from the Scottish government, which suggested lowering the limits on its motorways to 60mph. As well as potential increases in safety, possible reductions in emissions were cited as one of the major reasons for considering the change.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists, however, agrees with the government’s potential plans. IAM CEO Simon Best said:  “A fifth of motorway-users already travel at this increased speed, and more than half exceed 72mph when they can, suggesting that a properly controlled 80mph limit may not show huge increases in carbon or road casualties.”

A full and detailed study, as well as extensive trials, is recommended by the IAM to assess any potential consequences from these changes.

Previously, when we asked if increasing the limit to 80mph was a good idea, over 80% of you agreed. In light of the fatal M5 crash, however, has your opinion changed? Or do you still believe the limit should be raised?

We want to know what you think, so please take a moment to answer our poll below.