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Motorway speed limits

The question

The government is considering 50mph speed limits on Britain's motorways in an attempt to keep traffic flowing.

As a sweetener other sections of the network will have the speed limit raised to 80mph in line with limits in Europe. What do you think?

If a 50mph limit keeps traffic flowing at 50mph rather than 30mph or stop/start as on parts of the M6 round Birmingham, fine, provided that when the road is clear the limit is 70 (or 80) mph.

In other words, if the proposal was for differential speed limits for different levels of congestion (assuming such measures can be shown to work), I would not seriously object. However, if the proposal is, as it appears, a blanket limit on stretches regardless of traffic flows, it will encourage disregard for speed limits when the road is clear.

Graeme Monteith, sales director, Glasgow Who needs sweeteners for a traffic network that is already over capacity and kills or seriously injures 115 people a day (NCE 25 October)? We need to be brutally honest and face the fact that speed costs money, space, the environment and life. Those that want to compromise the last three of these should pay for it. A blanket limit of 50mph across the whole network outside urban areas I say, with plenty of hidden speed cameras to catch the selfish idiots who choose to ignore it.

Anthony Lane, 44, project consultant, Carlisle As a northern ex-pat and regular M11/A1 user, this is my two pennyworth. While on some roads a 50mph speed limit might actually represent an increase in driving speeds, a blanket limit across the country seems a pretty make-doand-mend way of dealing with our transport difficulties. Whatever happened to the government's much vaunted integrated transport policy and its promises for greater investment in public transport?

Anyone remember those?

Andy Walker, communications director, London The young van driver who followed me to work this morning had a solution to congestion and improving fuel efficiency. By driving four feet from my bumper he took up less room on the road and benefited from my slipstream. The downside for him is a life expectancy of about nineteen.

Although everyone engaged in this activity is either witless, insane or suicidal, with the application of some technology it could have some long term potential. In the short term I think the proposed scheme is a very good idea and could form part of the solution to our traffic problems.

Dave Brown, engineer, Leicestershire

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