I AM not convinced that the Spanish government is even sure why it has reduced the national speed limit to 110 km/h.
It initially announced the reduction from 120 km/h as part of a number of measures in a desperate bid to help the country’s need to reduce its oil consumption to help the economy.
The temporary restriction, which is due to stay in force until June, also served to reduce the country’s C02 emissions, which has naturally pleased the environmental lobby.
But I find it hard to believe that this restriction will end in June. We have been told by the deputy prime minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba that reducing the speed limit is due to the ‘emergency situation’ in North Africa and other Arab states, which has sent the price of crude oil soaring.
Does anyone really believe that the problems in the Middle East and the issue with Gaddafi and the warring factions is going to be sorted out by June.
The government estimates that the 10km/h reduction will reduce the country’s oil consumption by more than five per cent and 2.3 billion euros a year, with sceptics quoting closer to two per cent.
But is it really worth reducing the speed limit for just four months?
The Ministry of Public Works has already spent 250,000 euros on stickers to cover up the speed limit signs, not including the manpower required to physically carry out the changes.
I am convinced that the scheme has only been introduced to increase the revenue from speeding fines which can be a very costly experience, especially for the unsuspecting tourist.
Unfortunately, the new limit has arrived just at the wrong time for one client of my friend Victor at garage C.de.Salamanca, in San Pedro.
He has just sold one of the finest cars in the world, a brand new Bentley GT, with a top speed of 318 km/h and capable of clearing 96km/h in 4.4 seconds.
I hope that the powers that be see sense and look towards the UK for inspiration. Over there they are currently reviewing the 70mph speed limit with a view to raising it to 80mph to help with traffic flow.
Whatever the reason, the limit appears to be here for the foreseeable future, I don’t know about you but I’m off to order the latest road angel.
Contact Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org