Speed rise is bad for the environment say FOE

Published on Thursday, 06 October 2011 12:33
Posted by Scott Buckler

Government plans to increase the speed limit from 70 mph to 80 mph are dangerous, costly and bad for the environment

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond claims the current motorway speed limit is "out of date" and upping it would "generate economic benefits".

But driving at faster speeds would:


  • Burn more petrol - costing motorists and businesses extra.
  • Release more carbon emissions.
  • Cause more road deaths.

Raising the motorway speed limit seems like a cynical move to please a few Tory voters. It puts extra strain on people's wallets at a time we can least afford it.The Government's own advisers admit that an 80 mph speed limit would lead to more pollution and an increased risk of road death.

Road transport accounts for over 20% of UK carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Driving faster will increase the amount of CO2 vehicles produce, increasing transport's already sizable contribution to climate change.

Friends of the Earth believes the Government should lower speed limits. Even enforcing the current 70 mph limit would save about a megaton of carbon per year - equivalent to grounding half of our domestic flights.

We also support more 20 mph zones - which would help cut CO2 and make our streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Source: FOE

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