That 70-limit


I am glad to see in “Matters of Moment” that once again you are drawing attention to the outmoded 70 m.p.h. blanket speed limit which Mr. Peyton seems intent on retaining for a long time to come.

On the motorways of West Germany, France and Italy they don’t have blanket speed limits, and even in the USA, where they have had low speed limits for many years, more and more states are raising the speed limit to 75 m.p.h. on the growing system of interstate highways, while Kansas has an 80 m.p.h. limit on its Turnpike and Nevada has no state speed limit.

I hope that Motor Sport, which was responsible for the giant petition containing 280,000 signatures opposing the dangerous 70 m.p.h. speed limit on motorways, will eventually be successful in getting the speed limit abolished or at least substantially raised. [We hope we prevented it being dropped to 60 m.p.h. at the time—Ed.]

I would like to remind readers of the article in Autocar, February 1968, “Tory Policy for Motorists—If/when We Come to Power”, by Peter Walker.

In this interesting and quite well-reasoned article Peter Walker expressed concern at the manner in which the 70 m.p.h. speed limit had been introduced, and he went on to say: “Prior to the speed limit regulations I used to drive my car, I thought, perfectly safely, in the region of 85 m.p.h. on motorways.”

At this time Peter Walker was all in favour of experimenting with higher speed limits on motorways and thought that 85 m.p.h. might be the best limit.

I would naturally like to see the speed limit abolished completely but 85 m.p.h would be a great improvement on 70 m.p.h., and I hope Motor Sport and the Press in general will be able to remind Peter Walker, who is now Mr. Peyton’s overlord, of the ideas he expressed in 1968 and find out why experiments with higher speed limits on motorways have not yet started and when are they going to start?

A. I. Watkinson.