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Motorway speed limits could be raised to 80mph

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Motorway speed limits could be raised to 80mph in an effort to shorten journey times and boost the economy.

Experts believe that currently the 70mph restriction that is in place is rarely enforced, and that police will turn a blind eye to anyone who drives up to 10mph faster.

The same experts have argued that by having a higher speed limit that is enforced more readily, drivers are more likely to have respect for the rules.

Further reports suggest that potential changes could be a topic for discussion as soon as next month’s Conservative Party conference.

However, the Department for Transport (DfT) has refused to be drawn in on the matter, saying that at this time the report is only ‘speculation’.

“We need to make sure that we are looking at the right criteria when considering what level speed limits should be set at,” a DfT spokesman said.

“This means looking at the economic benefits of shorter journey times as well as considering other implications such as road safety and carbon emissions.”

“Any proposal to change national speed limits would be subject to full public consultation.”

Recent figures released from the DfT have shown that nearly 50% of motorists exceeded the 70mph limit regularly on motorways last year.

However in some areas, the news has been met with criticism as anti-car campaigners propose to keep the 70mph limit and to extend 20mph restrictions in some urban areas.

Britain’s speed limits are lower than many other countries in Europe, with France and Italy both imposing a maximum of 81mph, while Germany has no restriction at all.

If any change were to go ahead, it is likely Britain would take a stance similar to many European countries, where the 70mph limit is retained on dual-carriageways.

By Ben Malkin

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