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AA calls for 80mph limit on motorways

The 70mph speed limit should be raised to 80mph at certain times on some stretches of motorway, the AA has said today.

The AA has called for a higher speed to be introduced on stretches of motorway where there are variable speed signs, like the M25 around London and the M42 in the Birmingham area.

The AA said the 80mph limit would still need to be 'vigorously' enforced. Road safety groups expressed opposition to the plan.

AA Motoring Trust director Bert Morris says: "The current 70mph limit on motorways works well and should not be altered.

"However, on motorways where there are variable speed signs a limit of 80mph should be introduced when traffic flow and road conditions permit.

"If technology exists to reduce speeds on motorways at certain times, then it ought to be possible to raise speeds when it is suitable to do so."

Mary Williams OBE, the chief executive of road safety charity Brake, says: "The proposal to raise the limit on motorways is irresponsible and flies in the face of road safety advice and convincing evidence from the USA and elsewhere that raising limits increases casualties.

"We should be prioritising better enforcement to make our motorways safe, not making them more dangerous."

But Paul Watters, the AA Motoring Trust's head of road policy, dismissed fears that the proposal would make roads more hazardous.

"The changes described would improve safety," he said.

Watters said many accidents stem from the different speeds adopted by drivers, which can vary 'between 70mph and 90mph '.

"This would recognise what happens at the moment, while trying to get better compliance by using speed cameras."

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