Today, the Transport Select Committee has released a report on Road Safety, an issue close to my heart.
The big issue the press have got hold of is the increase in Road Deaths for the first time since 2003.
This is bad news. So why haven’t the press linked these worrying figures with plan to raise the speed limit to 80mph, something I have raised concerns about previously?
I agree with most of the report. However, I tried to toughen up the Select Committee recommendations on the 80mph limit, by asking for a report on “the financial implications of the proposals and a calculation of the expected increase in deaths and serious injuries as a result of the increased speed limit.”
Neither my Labour or Tory colleagues on the Committee supported this. Which is shortsighted.
My view is clear and unequivocal. I believe that raising the speed limit to 80mph is bad for the environment. It will increase deaths on the road. It will cost money to implement. That is why I oppose raising the limit to 80mph.
I know some people disagree. But the fact that the Government, and the Transport Select Committee don’t even want to investigate the full consequences of this policy change means that a bad decision is more likely.
I urge the Transport Department to announce something positive on road safety now, and scrap their plans for an 80mph speed limit now.