New 60mph Speed Limit Being Introduced on Motorways
In a bid to cut emissions and reduce vehicle pollution, Highways England have just begun trialling a 60mph speed limit on selected stretches of motorway in the UK.
The National Speed Limit on a motorway is usually 70mph, but in a bid to reduce emissions, Highways England have been looking to try and test whether there are ways to help reduce not just pollution but also the number of accidents caused each year on these stretches of road.
It is also thought that around 40,000 deaths per year are linked to poor air quality. The trial locations have been selected due to reportedly being areas which have exceeded recommended levels of nitrogen dioxide levels.
If you break the new speed limit in these locations, you could face a £100 fine.
The new speed limit trial is currently in place in these locations:
- M6 between junctions 6 and 7 (near Birmingham)
- M1 between junctions 33 and 34 (at Rotherham, South Yorkshire)
- M602 between junctions 1 and 3 (near Eccles, Greater Manchester)
- M5 between junctions 1 and 2 (at Oldbury, West Midlands)
So if you are travelling to any of the above places, you must make sure that you drive at the new 60mph speed limit and not at 70mph as you normally would have in the past.
The new speed limits are signposted and signs may be in place for up to 12 months, and possibly rolled out on a permanent basis depending on the results of the trial. It may also be extended to other locations across the UK throughout the year.
It is said that by reducing the speed to just 60mph that this can help to reduce emissions by up to 17%.
There are also some existing locations where similar restrictions are already in place.
- the M32 in Bristol
- the A1 in Blaydon, Tyneside
- the M4 in Harlington, London
- the M621 near Leeds.
Ivan Le Fevre, head of environment at Highways England, said: “Ultimately the air-quality challenge will be solved ‘at the tailpipe’ by vehicle manufacturers and changes in vehicle use. Until this happens we will continue our programme of research and solutions.”
Over the past 20 years, traffic on motorways has risen by almost a quarter, twice the increase for all roads. The chancellor has promised a £27 billion investment to upgrade motorways and A-roads until 2025.
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