Move to raise motorway limit to 80mph 'will boost economy'

Motorway speed limits could be raised to 80mph and those on city and town roads be reduced, with the decision on restrictions being made as much on cost as on safety. The Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, said yesterday that decisive factors could include the economic benefits of faster travel as well as environmental concerns.

Julie Burchill: Smug cyclists and yummy mummies are driving me to pavement rage

When I was a volunteer at a home for the blind a couple of years back (I quit when my lameness became so obvious that one day Betty, a lady in her eighties, said very sweetly "Julie, love, are you leading us or are we leading you?"), I became aware for the first time what a jungle it is out there. I had always ambled through life, never suffering from agoraphobia, panic attacks or any of the ills the urban mind is prey to, short-sighted and somewhat blissed out, convinced that the streets were not mean at all but rather concrete canyons of fun where adventure awaited at every avenue. It helped that I could take taxis everywhere, of course, and that I live in Brighton, and that I haven't had to leave my lair to work since I was 19 years old.

Town cleared over bomb report

Part of a town centre was evacuated today after a man brought what was believed to be a Second World War bomb to a police station.

More drivers in train near-misses

The number of motorists involved in near-misses with trains at level crossings increased by 15% in 2010.

'Worrying' rise in cyclist accidents

Deaths and injuries among cyclists are increasing at a "worrying" rate, a charity claimed today as new figures revealed a rise in casualties.

How to make a movie with a paintbrush

Want to make a film but don’t have the capital? Ian Burrell meets the man who funded his debut by painting and decorating

Woman killed as floods return to Australia

Flash floods swept through a north-eastern Australian community today, killing one woman, trapping others in cars and leaving some clinging to trees as relentless rains brought more misery to a region battling its worst flooding in decades.

DJ Taylor: Artfully, those pesky motorists dodge the bullet once more

Its been a good week for car-owners, Romeo Beckham, and Charles Dickens. But Mark Twain has taken a politically correct battering (if that's possible ...)

Two killed in city centre after crash

Two people have died after being struck by a car in a city centre.

Mother and son 'hacked to death with axe'

A mother and son were hacked to death in their own home by a man neighbours said was wielding an axe.

Thaw warms up shivering Britons

The whole country was enjoying a thaw today with all parts above freezing for the first time since the cold spell struck last month.

Album: Incarnations, With All Due Respect (Lovemonk)

Retro-soul trio Incarnations talk a good game - their press release namechecks Steely Dan, CSNY, Doobies, Stylistics and Delfonics - but this debut album lacks the most essential prerequisite, a batch of killer songs.

Charles Nevin: Time for the Duke to grapple with Gripple

Start the Week

Terry Farrell gets job of giving mid-London back to pedestrians

Sir Terry Farrell is to create a blueprint for revitalising London's Holborn, Bloomsbury and St Giles districts in an attempt to better reflect their position at the heart of the capital city.

Further talks in firefighters dispute

Firefighters were in talks with their brigade today following a day of strike action in which three picketers were hurt when they were hit by vehicles.

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own