Motorway 80mph limit

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Postby Custom24 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:13 pm


The government's proposed consultation to investigate raising the motorway speed limit to 80mph seems to have passed this forum by without notice, which surprises me.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-15116064
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Postby ROG » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:56 pm


Cos it will hardly make a difference in reality
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Postby GJD » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:57 pm


I'm sure it was discussed here at least when it was first mooted. I don't know if the idea of a consultation is far enough along not to be at risk from the recent change of Transport Secretary.
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Postby foxtrot_mike » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:57 am


Lots of people do 80 Mph on the motorway already, a few do 90mph

Will it just mean everyone does 90 instead of 80 and a few do 100?

Will it cause more bottlenecks and longer queues where it wont take as long for people to queue up?
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Postby jasonh » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:30 pm


Most figures on petrol consumption seem to agree that the effort required to keep a vehicle above about 65mph requires an inordinate amount of fuel and that is one reason why the notion that there are economic benefits seems to be utter billshut (you work it out). I think it's just a distraction while they keep screwing the NHS . . .
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Postby Standard Dave » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:42 pm


The majority of the price of fuel is tax. Therefore those who can afford to use the extra fuel by travelling at 80mph are giving more money to the government, the welfare state and foreign aid don't fund themselves neither to MPs expenses.
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Postby PeterE » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:18 pm


It will make advanced driving observed runs and tests a bit more challenging, though :wink:
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Postby foxtrot_mike » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:03 am


I wonder also how many people thing that a Dual Carriageway is also a Motorway and will apply the same rules there too.
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Postby jont » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:38 am


foxtrot_mike wrote:I wonder also how many people thing that a Dual Carriageway is also a Motorway and will apply the same rules there too.

I think there are plenty of people that don't realise NSL on dual carriageway is 70 (class of vehicle dependent etc etc) :roll:
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Postby foxtrot_mike » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:48 am


Ive had people complaining that they cant do 70 on a DC in a Minibus beacuse of the limiter

But then again some people think vans and minibuses are under the same NSL as cars
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Postby IVORTHE DRIVER » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:12 pm


foxtrot_mike wrote:Ive had people complaining that they cant do 70 on a DC in a Minibus beacuse of the limiter

But then again some people think vans and minibuses are under the same NSL as cars


"Some people"? I think you will find that applies to "most people" who drive vans, certainly seems to in my neck of the woods and don't get me started on minibuses :evil:

As to the 80 limit, I think in general the speed people drive at seems to have dropped due to the ever rising cost of fuel, certainly on the motorways round here anyway, which bizarrely is where you can save fuel more easily than you can on short hops to the shops/school etc.

I wonder if anyone would have noticed had they just raised the limit and not mentioned it in the press?

I did hear a recent quote from Tiff Needell along the lines of, "surely now that cars have more safety devices does it not make sense" cars not the problem Tiff, drivers still make the mistakes not the cars, bit like "dangerous roads" still the drivers fault not the roads

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Postby michael769 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:59 pm


foxtrot_mike wrote:Lots of people do 80 Mph on the motorway already, a few do 90mph

Will it just mean everyone does 90 instead of 80 and a few do 100?



It is impossible to know how British drivers will react to this. But in the US where some states have increased freeway limits they found that relatively few drivers actually increased their driving speeds.

Will it cause more bottlenecks and longer queues where it wont take as long for people to queue up?


Good questions. There are a few different effects in play... The capacity of a road in terms of vehicles per hour decreases at higher speeds, and higher speeds can just get you to the back of a queue sooner. On the other hand higher speeds reduce journey times and can result in fewer vehicles on the road. I have been told that sometimes just a handful fewer vehicles can be enough to prevent a breakdown in flow and the resulting congestion.

My guess it that the impact will vary from location to location (and time of day) depending of the local situation.
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Postby gfoot » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:10 am


michael769 wrote:It is impossible to know how British drivers will react to this. But in the US where some states have increased freeway limits they found that relatively few drivers actually increased their driving speeds.

I've seen people concerned about the safety implications of different people choosing different speeds (e.g. going at 50 or 60 for fuel economy), but thinking about it on the road I feel most comfortable when the lanes are moving at different speeds anyway - it means there are plenty of opportunities to change lane, and generally more things to pay attention to. Being in one of the middle lanes on the M25 with a 50 limit is like being on a conveyor - it's easy to start to feel you're not actually driving your car at all, which is obviously a dangerous state of mind.

What do you guys think about safety in a world where people doing 50 are sharing the road with people doing 80? Oh, wait, we're already in that world. :)
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Postby DugS » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:22 am


I'd like to see a French system of variable speed limits brought in depending on the conditions . ie fast when dry and lower when wet. Isn't this what we do as advanced drivers anyway ? but the majority of drivers who haven't had the training we have had need pointing in the right direction . I don't support a blanket 80 mph limit .
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Postby michael769 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:39 pm


gfoot wrote:
What do you guys think about safety in a world where people doing 50 are sharing the road with people doing 80? Oh, wait, we're already in that world. :)


I have long seen it claimed that the reason that motorways are safer is that there are fewer reasons to change speed significantly.

The DfT did a study (which I cannot find right now) that showed that collisions were higher on roads where there was greater variation in speeds. In the light of that it seems odd that we have differential limits. Indeed some US states have recently abolished lower limits for trucks, and while it is early days yet - the initial results point towards a reduction in collisions.

I have thought for some time that there is a strong argument for trialling the abolition of the lower truck limit on a few high quality single carriageways (The A9 and A75 are the obvious Scottish candidates) - to see if the hypothesis is born out.
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