80mph Motorways Would Boost GDP by £6bn

The Telegraph reported on 30 June that the Committee on Climate Change warns that an 80mph speed limit on motorways would “cost the economy £150m because of growing taxes on pollution” This is simply nonsense – bilge, drivel and bunkum.

In 2009 motorway traffic totalled 62bn vehicle miles at an average speed of about 62mph equating (with average occupancy of 1.6) to some 1.6bn man-hours a year. Increasing the motorway limit from 70mph to 80mph should cut that by 10% or 160m man-hours. One third of that would add 0.1% to national working time of 60bn man-hours and pro rata £1.5bn to national GDP – ten times the claimed tax cost.

However, what the Committee chooses to describe as a cost “because of growing taxes on pollution” would not be a cost were it paid to Westminster, and becomes a cost only if paid to Brussels. That it would be levied on the basis of what is now widely recognised as a gigantic scam serves only to heap insult to injury.

How can we survive if officials and Committees make errors of this magnitude?

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