Sunday, November 11, 2007

Speed limits and the enviroment

John Redwood (yes, him) blogged today about the A13.  This is the main road from the East End to the M25 and is one that, whenever I hire a StreetCar, I seem to use more than any other.

As he says, it has the potential to be a very useful road but the planners have decided that, for large stretches of this modern dual carriageway, the speed limit should be 40mph.

As I am paranoid about getting points on my licence, I tend to obey speed limits in urban areas and so have tried various techniques to regulate my speed, which is harder than one would expect - primarily due to the fact that the road could clearly safely support speeds much higher.

The technique that works best is simply to drive in a far lower gear than necessary. The increasing engine noise works very well as an alert if one's speed begins to creep up.

As Mr Redwood pointed out in his article, this has the perverse effect of causing more fuel to be burned than is necessary, and probably results in lower air quality for nearby residents I imagine.

There is definitely scope here for the creation of a truly unholy alliance between motorists and environmentalists to campaign for a rule change of mutual benefit.  Bring it on!

4 comments:

Ben said...

This does seem quite slow. The modern North Circular (A406) has a 50 limit, as does the more dangerous Kingston Bypass (A3) (which had a 70 limit until about ten years ago).

Maybe the person who set the speed limit lives next to the road and doesn't like the noise? ;-)

David Currie said...

Possibly only a technique you'd use in a hire car!

Chris said...

When driving a hire car like this you should not allow the car's revs to drop below 3K and should be in the band between 4K and 6K to ensure you are getting the maximum value for money.

This will also ensure you are always using the maximum power of the vehicle that you have paid for and that the acceleration is brisk to compensate for driving under or at the speed limit.

Richard Brown said...

This will also ensure you are always using the maximum power of the vehicle that you have paid for and that the acceleration is brisk to compensate for driving under or at the speed limit.

That's the problem! I don't *want* the car accelerating if I'm already doing 40 in a 40 limit :-)