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Ashbourne MP’s speed plans blasted on top gear

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: February 25, 2013

By GARETH BUTTERFIELD

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ASHBOURNE’S MP Patrick McLoughlin has been branded a ‘blithering idiot by motormouth BBC Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who publicly objected to his thoughts on raising the motorway speed limit.

Clarkson, and his fellow presenters James May and Richard Hammond were discussing recent reports that Mr McLoughlin, who is the Government’s secretary of state for transport, looks likely to opt against a proposal to raise the country’s motorway speed limit from 70mph to 80mph.

During a torrade about motorway driving on Sunday night’s episode, Clarkson insisted the Derbyshire Dales MP does not know what a motorway is as there are no motorways in his constituency.

A spokesman for the department for transport told the News Telegraph, following the airing of the episode, that Mr McLoughlin’s primary concern was for road safety and pointed out that, despite recent press reports, there had been no changes announced to plans for an 80mph speed limit.

Currently work is on-going to assess the potential economic, safety and environmental impacts of trialling 80mph speed limits across a number of sites on the motorway network, but no time scale has been announced and consultation has yet to begin.

Mr McLoughlin was unable to comment on his reaction to the Top Gear episode by the time the News Telegraph went to press.

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