|13 May 2012.
For immediate release.
“Motorways are our safest roads by a huge margin with an accident rate one-seventh that of rural A-roads and one-eleventh that of all rural roads.Brian Gregory continues:
'Unfit for 80' appears to base its assumption that Britain's motorway network is not suitable for an increased motorway limit mainly on three points:
1. Impact speeds will be higher on motorways.
2. Crash levels rise with increased traffic flow.
3. There are "widespread faults with run off protection".
Despite higher travelling speed, impact speeds are actually lower as all traffic is moving in the same direction. 2
On two-way rural roads a head-on crash can result in higher impact speeds than on a motorway (excepting extremely rare crossover crashes).
Of course impact speeds are usually well below travelling speed, as almost all crashes involve some braking or deceleration. Ironically the few full speed impacts are often where the driver has fallen asleep - such crashes may be increased by enforced unrealistically low speeds.”
“While crash levels rise with traffic flow, speeds decrease, but the majority of the motorway network is not heavily trafficked most of the time.The ABD supports the established principle that speed limits should be set assuming good conditions and free flowing traffic. To set them to assume permanent congestion and bad weather on all motorways would be ridiculous and would totally undermine respect for limits.
Speeds naturally reduce in congestion and bad weather without the electronic speed control deemed necessary in the report. Whilst run off protection can never be perfect, it is vastly superior on motorways in virtually all cases to that on other roads, where solid objects such as trees can often be inches from fast traffic.”