Thatcher vetoed ‘very unfair’ plans for lowering speed limits for boy racers
- Former PM Margaret Thatcher’s devotion to deregulation extended to boy racers
- Concern over younger drivers being involved in serious accidents spiked in 1990
- Letter suggested novices ‘be prohibited from carrying more than one passenger’
Josh White For The Daily Mail
Mrs Thatcher’s belief in free markets is well known.
But it was hitherto unknown that her devotion to deregulation extended to boy racers, as well as the financial sector.
Concern over the preponderance of younger drivers being involved in serious accidents has spiked in 1990, with the Department of Transport advocating draconian measure to counter it.
Former PM Margaret Thatcher pictured with her husband Denis in a car in September 1981
One letter from that year, newly released at the National Archives, suggested that novice drivers ‘be prohibited from carrying more than one passenger’ as well as having speed restrictions imposed on them at 10mph under the normal limit on all roads.
In response, however, an unequivocal Mrs Thatcher scrawled: ‘I thoroughly disagree…they would be very difficult to implement and very unfair’.
She also extended her veto to a proposal for ‘P’ plates for two years for all newly qualified drivers, writing in another handwritten note: ‘I doubt this – two years is a very long time especially for someone driving every day.
‘A few weeks if anything at all would surely be enough.’
Interestingly, variations on these proposals continue to be supported by transport experts.
And a very similar package of measures was introduced in Northern Ireland earlier this year, with the possibility of introducing them across the UK if they prove a success.