London, 12 May 1999.
For immediate release.

Contact the ABD

Previous
Press Release
Next

Government Rejects Sensible Advice From Motoring Groups On Both Urban and Motorway Speed Limits
Heads the Anti-Car Lobby Win, Tails the British Driver Loses
The Government is indicating that Local Authorities will be given the right to introduce 20mph speed limits wherever they like, in the face of warnings that this power will certainly be abused. Instead of imposing temporary 20mph limits outside schools when the children are arriving and leaving, as suggested by both the RAC and the ABD, anti car local councils are already drawing up plans to impose unnecessary blanket restrictions in urban areas as part of their quest to make car use even more unpleasant.

At the same time, Ministers are dismissing out of hand recommendations by all the leading motoring organisations and endorsed by many advanced civilian instructors and (off the record) by Class 1 Police Drivers that the motorway speed limit should be increased to at least 80mph.

"Motoring groups should now be under no illusions," says ABD road and traffic spokesman Mark McArthur Christie. "The government have shown that they are not interested in rational arguments based on road safety. They are simply in the pocket of the anti car lobby."

The excuse given for rejecting pleas for a motorway limit increase is not even safety related. The safety case for 80mph is so strong that not even the DETR boloney generating machine (quite capable of arguing that black is white) can come up with a remotely credible objection. Instead, we are told that "emissions increase exponentially at speeds over 60mph".

WHAT EMISSIONS ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT? DO THEY ACTUALLY KNOW, OR IS THIS JUST A THROWAWAY, DISMISSIVE COMMENT?

It can't be air quality related emissions:

So if they want to improve air quality, they need to address dirty buses and forecourt vapour recovery, not prevent sensible speeds on motorways.

Perhaps they are talking about Mr Prescott's favourite subject, Carbon Dioxide, the raw material for life itself, which allegedly might warm up the planet. On the other hand, it might not - and even if it does, this might be good news.

If emissions of this substance increase with car speeds, then so they do with train and aircraft speeds. Why is Mr Prescott therefore not slowing down these modes of transport to reduce emissions?

With likely improvements in road safety to be derived from an increase in the motorway speed limit, a situation reflecting what happened in the USA, the environmental argument against such a rise is now seen to be entirely vacuous. There is no justification in opposing an 80mph motorway limit.

THE AA, RAC AND OTHER MOTORING GROUPS ARE BEING TAKEN FOR FOOLS HAVING MADE UTTERLY REASONABLE REQUESTS TO THE GOVERNMENT. PERHAPS NOW THEY WILL WAKE UP TO THE REALITY OF HOW DEEP THE CLAWS OF THE ANTI-CAR LOBBY HAVE SUNK INTO OUR SPINELESS POLITICAL LEADERS.

 

Notes for Editors