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Warning over motorway speed rise

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Drivers already faced with rising fuel and car insurance costs could have to deal with more danger on the roads if an increase in motorway speed limits to 80mph is made legal by July, road safety charity Brake has warned.

The warning follows a report in the Daily Mail which said the proposal to increase speed limits could become law before MPs go on their summer leave.

The charity warned that such a move would be highly dangerous and would lead to even more motorway deaths and injuries.

Studies show that the 10mph rise in speed limits would increase motorway casualties by 5%-10%.

The charity added that a higher speed limit would also lead to an increase in UK fuel consumption and carbon emissions. A petrol car produces 14% more CO2 per kilometre when travelling at 80mph than at 70mph, while a diesel vehicle emits 25% more.

The Transport Committee Report on Road Traffic Speed found that increasing speed limits would do little to reduce average journey times. On the congested motorways of England, an 80mph limit might lead to longer journey times because it would create an uneven flow.

© Press Association 2011