Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Roddy Graham's blog: 28 January 2010 - Speeding into the future
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Roddy Graham's blog: 28 January 2010 - Speeding into the future

Date: 28 January 2010

Roddy Graham is chairman of the ICFM and commercial director of Leasedrive Velo

In our recently published white paper entitled 'A vision of fleet management in 2015. Predictions on how the fleet industry could look in the future', I predicted that we would see lower speed limits and a network of average speed cameras. Both seem to be coming closer to reality.

First, the controversial subject of lower speed limits. A recent online survey by car supermarket, Motorpoint, revealed that over 82 per cent of drivers would be against the permanent lowering of the national speed limit on sections of the UK motorway network from 70mph to 60mph. This comes after the Department for Transport admitted a lowering of the national speed limit could become reality with speed regulated by overhead average speed cameras, as found on the overhead gantries on the M25, and sensors placed in the road surface.

It may not be a surprise to learn that the vast majority of drivers are opposed to a lowering of speed limits but it might be to learn that the Police is opposed too! In this instance, it relates to proposals to reduce speed limits from 30mph to 20mph in urban areas. Thames Valley Police is against such a move unless it is accompanied by associated traffic calming measures such as speed bumps. The comments follow a proposal from Oxfordshire County Council to reduce the speed limit on at least 24 roads in and around Abingdon.

Merely changing a number according to the Police is not enough. It must be supported by proper traffic engineering to lower speed and should only be introduced where absolutely necessary, such as where children are most at risk. Simply changing the limit alone would only see an average 2mph drop in drivers' speed.

Meanwhile, Transport for London is apparently trialling average speed cameras in east London between Canning Town and the Goresbrook interchange covering a whole road network section with multiple entrance and exit points. Fully operational by this summer, the road network will be monitored by 84 cameras at 37 different locations.

It'll be expensive to roll-out but you can bet your bottom dollar that a national network of average speed cameras covering major traffic routes is just around the corner. It'll prove a nice little earner for local councils and will reduce traffic speed further. At least, it should help save lives too.