CC (Climate catastrophe) 50 MPH and the SUV

I have just sent this post to relevant politicians of all the main parties for these suggestions would only work effectively with cross-party support


THE 50 MPH WIN WIN SPEED LIMIT Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels is not something to be put off until 2030 or whatever.  We need to start reducing our reliance on fossil fuels as soon as possible. This also involves helping the public recognise steps need to be taken now as the whole economy is restructured to become resilient and sustainable in a future where as TIME puts it “The future is not going to be like the past” and “The extreme weather events of the 21st century will look nothing like those that came before.”.

Here are two minor policy changes which could be implemented immediately and would look good as we approach COP26.  Both would reduce carbon and air polluting emissions and would not increase general taxation.


  • Almost all cars, petrol and diesel, are designed to be most efficient in their use of fuel when travelling at around 50 m.p.h.
  • Roaring around at 70 to 80 mph and driving with aggressive acceleration and braking can increase fuel consumption and the expulsion of exhaust gases by 30%. (Take note Jeremy Clarke and fans)
  • Keeping to a maximum speed of 50 mph together with smooth driving can easily reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 15-20%
  • The government has announced the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 and of hybrids by 2035. However, given that the average life of a car on the road is 12 years, this means a huge number of petrol and diesel cars will still be on our roads in the twenty forties even if there are many more electric, hydrogen and bio-fuel vehicles around.
  • Given this continuing situation, a 50 mph speed limit should still be valuable in reducing the level of CO2 and polluting exhaust gases made by the remaining petrol and diesel vehicles.
  • Brought in now and affecting over 40 million citizens this would bring home the importance of facing up to climate change with a measure that would actually save drivers money.
  • However, to be broadly acceptable, this is a measure which is only likely to work with broad cross-party support and if introduced with a DRIVE GREENER AT 50 MPH campaign.
  • John Baxter  mobile 07403 616145  2 Lifeguard Villas, South St., Wincanton BA9 9DW



  1. Phase out SUV’s
  • Emissions from all road transport accounted for around twenty percent of total UK Green House Gas emissions in 2018. This is a huge proportion which must be greatly reduced if our Climate Change commitments are to be met.
  • At present the Government is providing a £3,500 grant to those who buy a new electric car, but the car manufacturers’ response has been to promote with some success – through their selling, advertising and low interest loans – a new, much more expensive “must have” vehicle, the SUV, (A Sports Utility Vehicle) In 2019 nine out of ten new UK car sales were SUVs.
  • SUV is a loose marketing term for a large, high visibility “countryside friendly” and often four-wheel drive car which also “looks good on the school run” for yummy mummies.
  • Compared to a 1 to 1.6 litre petrol engined family hatchback which can carry five and do 50 MPG, petrol and diesel SUVs do 19-24 mpg. They also provide manufacturers with a much greater profit than hatchbacks.
  • The SUVs take up a great deal of space and extra wear on the roads and spew out double the pollution and CO2 of the petrol hatchbacks.
  • If all new cars with an urban mpg rate of less than around 35 MPG carried a 20-30% additional sales tax, this should disincentivise the sale of new SUVs and more than offset the cost of giving grants to encourage the sale of electric and other carbon neutral cars.
  • John Baxter  mobile 07403 616145  2 Lifeguard Villas, South St., Wincanton BA9 9DW

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