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Spending on motorway infrastructure better than speed limit change, says transport institution

The Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) said today that government proposals to raise the motorway speed limit should be scrapped in favour of spending more on managed motorways and infrastructure improvements.

Transport minister Phillip Hammond announced last week that the government will launch a consultation on the proposal to increase the motorway speed limit to 129km/h (80mph) by 2013.

CIHT said an increased speed limit will not lead to the economic benefits outlined by the government, and that the most effective way of improving journey times would be through an extension of the controlled and managed motorway programme, and improvements to motorway infrastructure.

“Better use of the existing network by upgrades such as the managed motorway programme, improvements to the rail network and signalling, and small improvements to our airports can all deliver greater capacity at relatively low cost,” CIHT said. It also claimed that an increase in speeds without “the proper investment in infrastructure improvements and associated enforcement” would lead to an increase in the number and severity of road casualties.

Readers' comments (1)


    It is not an "either or" situation as CIHT seem to imply. Of course journey times would improve if improvements to the motorway infrastructure were made, but this requires funding which the Government appears to be unwilling [wrongly in my view]to provide at the present time.
    In the meantime an increase in the default speed limit from 70mph to 80mph will cost almost nothing; only a minimal number of 70mph signs will need to be replaced.
    Of course there are some sections of motorway which have [historically] defective design speeds and it appears that these sections will not have the speed limit increased.
    Much better still if we followed the French system of 130/110kph speed limits on autoroutes, with the lower limit applying in adverse weather conditions.

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