At AutoeBid we're always doing our best to drive down the cost of new cars and bring you hot deals. But for motorists everything else seems to be heading upwards at an alarming rate. At least Transport Secretary Philip Hammond's proposal to introduce a new 80mph speed limit on Britain's motorways isn't designed to make you poorer.

Believe it or not, the existing 70mph speed limit has been in force since 1965. Since the heyday of the Beatles, petrol prices have rocketed, hemlines have risen (drastically) and fallen, but British drivers have zealously adhered to the fiction of the 70mph speed limit.

The reality, according to the Government, is that up to 49 per cent of drivers are already exceeding the maximum speed limit. So, bringing in a new 80mph speed limit simply reflects reality.

At the other end of the scale, the proposed new 80mph speed limit would be balanced by an extension of the 20mph limit in urban areas. So you'd be much less likely to be run over outside your home by a speeding neighbour en route to the motorway.

Why is the Government doing this now? For Mr Hammond it's all about getting Britain moving again. He claims a new 80mph speed limit on motorways will help "generate economic benefits of hundreds of millions of pounds through shorter journey times".

That's right: Britain is unable to drag itself out of recession because everyone is driving to work too slowly.

The consultation on a change to the motorway speed limit won't begin until 2012 but already the debate has begun. Friends of the Earth have pointed out that the proposal doesn't sit well with David Cameron's ambition to run "the greenest government ever".

For Friends of the Earth, more speed is simply a route to increased fuel consumption, higher carbon emissions and a greater financial burden on businesses and individuals.

A new 80mph speed limit wouldn't come into force until 2013. Until then, drivers will exercise the same healthy respect for speed cameras as they squander precious minutes on the way to work.

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