However, one major factor could prevent it from happening – ‘social acceptance’


The speed limit on UK motorways is often debated, with some drivers believing it should be reduced whilst others are in favour of an increase.

CEO of Highways England, Jim O’Sullivan, has now said that motorway speed limits in the UK could be increased to 80mph, however there’s one major factor that could prevent it from happening – “social acceptance”.

According to Mr O’Sullivan, who’s company manage Britain’s motorways and ‘A’ roads, before the speed limit is changed it would have to become ‘socially acceptable’.

Mr O’Sullivan believes that because the current 70mph speed limit is so “socially embedded” in the minds of UK motorists, it could make it difficult to change.

However there's one major factor that could prevent it from happening - 'social acceptance'

Motorway speed limit in the UK could increase to 80mph © Copyright Mat Fascione and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


“We have not done a formal safety analysis but there are parts of the network that subject to a safety analysis could probably operate at 80 miles an hour,” said Mr O’Sullivan, adding: “I think there is a technical argument about speed and safety of vehicles etc but I think 70 miles per hour is so socially embedded in this country that I think it is probably not going to change, in fact it’s almost certainly not going to change.”

Mr O’Sullivan believes that “public opinion” could stop the proposal from being passed.

The speed limit in roadwork areas have recently been increased from 50mph to 60mph to help improve congestion on UK roads.


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