The motorway speed limit of 70mph could increase to 80mph, says Transport Secretary Philip Hammond

The motorway speed limit of 70mph could be increased to 80mph after Transport Secretary Philip Hammond branded the current limit “out of date”.

Hammond’s Department of Transport is starting a consultation on increasing the speed limit on the motorways of England and Wales. The current 70mph limit was introduced in 1965, but Hammond’s argument is that huge advances in safety and motoring technology has rendered this limit obsolete.

The consultation will begin this year and a revised limit could be brought in as soon as 2013 if it is deemed necessary. The motorway increase is expected to go hand-in-hand with a rise in the number of 20mph zones in many towns and cities.

Confirmation of the consultation was due to be announced at the Conservative Party conference this weekend, but was brought forward after it leaked out early.

Hammond’s plan has drawn criticism from other MPs, including climate change secretary Chris Huhne and health secretary Andrew Lansley, due to concerns over rising pollution and fuel consumption levels.

Leading scientists from Greenpeace UK estimate that driving at 80mph instead of 70mph increases emissions and consumption by as much as 20 per cent.

What do you think of the 80mph speed limit proposal?

Vote now

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run