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I don't know what overseas drivers think of British roads and speed limits but I do know that those of us who've lived and driven in the UK for many years despair at how much more difficult it is to get from A to B than it used to be, what with heavy traffic throughout much of the day and extensive roadworks leading to the inevitable, soul destroying traffic jams.
I try and drive when no-one else is on the roads but am frustrated that I have to sit at traffic lights when there isn't another car in sight, or creep along at 20 or 30 mph in a road with a school, when it could easily take a car travelling at 40 mph as the school isn't going to be open for another 12 hours, so I believe it would be a good idea for traffic signals and some speed limits to be suspended at certain times. That would allow many of us to be off the road network before others with more fixed journeys set off. Less traffic on the road would mean fewer traffic jams.
Another help would be an increase in motorway speed limits and fleet managers polled by vehicle tracking specialist Navman Wireless, (www.navmanwireless.co.uk) on the Government's suggested 80mph limit increase, generally agree, saying it would benefit business.
The apparent simplicity of the change belies a number of complex factors it opens for consideration. The potential for increased productivity must be balanced against fuel costs, safety and environmental impact - or whether it will have any real impact on fleets at all, as recognising that many drivers ignore the current limit, some respondents consider that a rise to 80mph will make little difference, or will encourage driving at speeds closer to 90mph.
Challenges are also being made as to whether a change in speed limit is the best way to improve motorway driving - with calls for more investment in infrastructure, such as additional lanes and 'no overtaking' sections for HGVs on busy stretches of road.
I'd be really interested in learning your views on these arguments and would love to hear from those of you who regularly drive in different countries as well as the UK.
I can't help wondering whether there is actually a solution to our traffic problems, because the UK - and particularly England, is simply too crowded these days...
14th July 2011