Just like everyone else on the UK’s roads, people who take advantage of car lease deals are subject to the speed limit. At present, this stands at 70mph on motorways for regular vehicles. However, a member of the coalition government has suggested this should be raised to 80mph and this has sparked concern among some.
Transport secretary Philip Hammond said that the cap should go up because this could cut journey times and improve productivity. Indeed, if the plans were to proceed, those with car leasing deals and all other highway users would be able to get from A to B more quickly.But speed awareness campaigners Coyote have criticised the comments, saying they send the wrong signal to drivers. According to the organisation, which makes the Mini Coyote V2 speed camera alert device, the message makes a mockery of public safety.
It also pointed out that driving faster reduces the fuel economy of vehicles, making the cost of driving rise for consumers, including those on car lease deals. Indeed, cars would be up to 20 per cent more wasteful if they were driven at 80mph as opposed to 70mph, it claimed.Managing director of Cobra UK Andrew Smith said: “On the UK’s already congested motorways, is it really sensible to suggest that drivers increase their speed in order to get to their destination quicker? Road safety has always been, and must remain, the principal driver behind any change in policy – this suggestion appears to signal a worrying change of emphasis.”
He added: “An extra 10mph on the motorway is not going to make any meaningful change to individual journey times and certainly can’t outweigh the potential safety risks, wasteful fuel use and loss of natural resources that are already rapidly running out.”Mr Smith went on to welcome the government’s efforts to tackle the economic problems being faced by the country but warned that this should not be used as a justification for increasing the speed limit. Indeed, according to the executive, this notion “doesn’t seem credible”.
The concerns express by Coyote have been echoed by the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Transport Safety (PACTS). Figures produced by the organisation indicate that motorway casualties could rise by between five and ten per cent if the increase in the limit were to go ahead.A registered charity and associate parliamentary group, PACTS aims to protect human life through the promotion of safe transport. It attempts to fulfil this objective by advising and informing members of the House of Commons and House of Lords on matters relating to the country’s road, air and rail network.
Meanwhile, commenting on the issue himself, Mr Hammond remarked: “We need to be rigorous when setting speed limits – there’s got to be a framework and that has to be a proper analysis of the costs and benefits,” TransportXtra reported.
The Department for Transport is consulting on the new speed limit policy. As well as raising the speed limit on motorways, it is also considering the adoption of a new approach to 20mph restrictions in certain areas. If they come into effect, these alterations will impact on the activities of those with car leasing deals and all other road users.