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Speed limits(PA)


A consultation is underway to decide if the UK motorway speed limit should be increased from 70mph to 80mph. Motorists in this country will have strong views on the merits of that but how would car owners across the rest of Europe look at the maximum speeds we set for our roads?

The graphic below from compares the UK’s speed limits for motorways, rural roads and urban areas with those set by our European neighbours. You’ll spot that there’s quite a disparity between the maximum speeds allowed in different countries and that there are plenty of nations where it’s legal for motorway traffic to travel a lot faster than it currently can here. Is it time to raise the UK speed limit?

If you ignore Germany’s derestricted autobahns, Poland has the highest motorway speed limit with 87mph while Iceland has the lowest, enforcing a 56mph maximum. On rural roads, however, only Germany and Austria allow vehicles to travel faster than the UK’s 60mph limit. That’s in stark contrast to our 30mph limit for built-up areas, which is the lowest of all the countries included except for Albania.

Local weather, road and driving conditions clearly have a big impact but there still doesn’t seem to be too much consensus around Europe and some might say that’s not unusual.

Need for speed -

Understandably, there are lots of strongly held and emotive opinions around the issue of how fast is fast enough for UK roads. Questions on the kind of impact any move to raise speed limits might have on journey times, vehicle efficiency and road safety will continue to cause controversy.

From 18 October bus, coach and lorry drivers holding a British paper driving licence are asked to exchange it for a photocard licence in order to receive their driver qualification card (DQC) at no cost.

The DQC proves that a driver holds the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) which professional bus, coach and lorry drivers must now legally hold in addition to their driving licence.

Drivers with a photocard licence will receive their DQC automatically, as the same photograph can be used for both documents. While drivers will still have to pay the usual £20 photocard licence fee, they will benefit from receiving their DQC free of charge, which could save them up to £30 over the 10 year photocard licence period.

Rosemary Thew, DSA chief executive said:

“We’re urging drivers to exchange their paper licence sooner rather than later. As well as saving money, drivers holding a photocard licence will receive their DQC automatically when they have passed the Driver CPC initial qualification or completed 35 hours of periodic training.”

Those drivers leaving the exchange of their licence until after they have completed their training may risk a delay in receiving their DQC.

Drivers can apply to exchange their licence online or by post or they can drop off their application at DVLA local offices and selected Post Office® branches. For more information on how to exchange your paper licence visit