On this day in auto history - January 1st

Fri 1st Jan 2021

It was on this day in 1967 that a national speed limit of 70 mph officially came into force.

The ‘blanket’ restriction was the first time such legislation had been applied since 1935 when a 30 mph limit was introduced in built-up areas.

Up until 1967, there was no maximum speed limit on unrestricted roads or the then ’new’ motorways, though many vehicles were incapable of reaching 70mph anyway.

The introduction of a maximum speed limit was introduced by Labour's Transport Minister, Barbra Castle, after a successful four month trial, which had been prompted by a worryingly high spate of car crashes during the foggy autumn of 1965.

In 1977, the maximum speed limit on single-carriage roads was lowered to 60 mph, having temporarily dropped to 50 mph in the aftermath of the 1974 Oil Crisis.