Letter: Coach speed limiters

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The Independent Online
Sir: The loss of life and injury resulting from the recent coach crash must be carefully analysed to ensure that lessons are learnt. This process is not advanced by the ill-considered intervention of Christian Wolmar, your transport correspondent (11 November), attacking coach use of the motorway third lane.

Speed limiters, which the industry does not oppose, will effectively restrict coaches to 65 mph, not 62 as suggested. Goods vehicles will be speed limited to approximately 10 miles an hour slower. On gradients, their speed will drop to below 50. For a coach to be sandwiched, over long periods, between these types of vehicle, and denied the ability to overtake, could provide a dangerous scenario.

Platooning in the first and second lanes of three-lane motorways would make it more difficult and dangerous to get on or off motorways. Moreover, denying coaches transient use of the overtaking lane could reduce their speed to the 50mph average of the goods vehicle. This will mean substantially longer journey times and higher costs.

Coach travel, despite recent tragedies, is one of the safest and most comfortable means of travel, providing economic transport for 600 million journeys a year, including many for young people and pensioners.

Yours faithfully,

JOHN SLATCHER

Coach Industry

Action Group

London, SW1

11 November

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