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Raise variable speed limits, urges AA

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MOTORWAY CAPACITY would increase if speed limits could be raised temporarily to 80mph on routes where variable speed limits are used, the AA motoring trust said this week.

Director Bert Morris said a de facto 80mph limit already exists, as police rarely prosecute motorists for travelling this fast.

He said that if variable speed limit technology used on the M25 and the M42 can reduce limits, then it should be used to raise them too.

'Speed on a road has to be appropriate to the type of road, weather conditions and traffic levels. Having blanket limits can be a nonsense, ' he said.

'The signs are clearly visible. Everyone knows what the speed has been set at and drivers have to make a conscious decision to exceed that.' He added that strict enforcement would be needed, using cameras behind gantries to ensure speeds did not drift up to 90mph.

Morris said a pilot scheme was needed to test the theory that limits should be set in line with a road's risk.

A Department for Transport (DfT) spokeswoman said: 'The department did a review of motorway speed limits on motorways a few years ago and ruled out any changes.

'If the AA wants to submit its proposals to the DfT and the Highways Agency then it's something the government would look at.'

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