Drive Faster and Boost the Economy!
What are our great leaders trying to tell us? The economy will benefit from us racing down our motorways at 80 mph. There must be something underlying in their plans. Let’s face it the main business users on our motorways must be the heavy goods vehicles hauling large cargo up and down the country every day so that we can have food on our supermarket shelves, industries can have the components they require, etc these vehicles they say are going to be limited to 50mph. How is that going to improve the economy?
Let’s look at this little closer. It is said that we have amongst the safest roads in Europe and that under Normal driving conditions raising the speed limit would help to get business people to their destinations quicker. But what are normal driving conditions?
- Engine and transmission operating at normal operating temperature most of the time.
- A mix of about 1/3 city driving, 2/3 highway.
- Outside temperature usually moderate; not too hot or too cold.
- Road surfaces dry and clear.
- Relatively straight and level roadways; occasional, moderate hills or valleys.
- Air quality moderate and clean.
- Light to moderate loads; one or two passengers, with very little weight added to the trunk or cargo space.
- Tyre pressures set properly and all fluids at correct levels and condition.
If any of the above is not the case, then it is not normal driving conditions.
Statistics show that last year, 50% of drivers exceeded 70mph and 14% exceeded 80mph so, it is claimed that if the speed limit on motorways was raised to 80mph then there would be less speeding tickets issued, less points added to licences and Britain would keep moving!
If 50% of staff were late for work would the answer be for every company to start work later? Or would it be that because only 14% would be breaking the law then, fewer traffic police would be needed to patrol the highways.So what of the implications;
· Raised fuel consumption due to higher speeds.
· Higher greenhouse gas emissions should be considered as there is a European directive to cut co2 emissions.
· Raised insurance charges if you use the motorway for any purpose.
· A possible increase in accidents due to driving at higher speeds when conditions are not normal.
So what is the solution?
The first thing would be to get to grips with the speeders (If statistics are true then we are not managing conditions on the highways as they are so, what chance will police have when the speed limit is raised.)
There is another way to get the economy moving and that is to make motorway travel cheaper for industry by;
Doing away with toll roads eg M6 toll road if this were free then this will be an alternative route and cut down on congestion on the m6 thus, keeping traffic moving. How much cheaper would it be for haulage companies if they did not have to pay to avoid congestion or, to cross a river like on the M4.
I think it would be better to concentrate on getting the economy moving than, finding excuses to avoid managing the safe way we travel up and down our country!
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