The Highways Agency has proposed to cut speed limits on some motorways to 60mph.
The speed limit on certain sections of motorways is planned to be dropped to 60mph in a bid to cut air pollution.
On Monday January 6th, the Highways Agency announced that the change will initially come in on a 32-mile stretch of the M1 in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Following this, officials will consider whether the new limit should come in on 13 other stretches of motorway from 2015 including part of the M3.
The plan has been put forward for consultation as a means of meeting targets from the European Union (EU) to get cleaner air. As the agency planned to turn parts of the hard shoulder into an extra lane, it was feared that the extra traffic would push pollution levels above that of the EU restrictions. By reducing the amount of high speed traffic it is thought that this will cut the level of emissions.
So far, the idea has been met with mixed response from green campaigners including Friends of the Earth and motoring groups such as RAC.
Jenny Bates, a Friends of the Earth campaigner said it is a "national scandal" that people die young due to poor air pollution and commended the Highways Agency for its decision. She also said that more needs to be done such as scrapping plans to build roads and providing alternative means of travel to drivers.
RAC, on the other hand, felt that the change could be damaging to mobility, business efficiency and could be confusing for motorists.
Technical director for the RAC David Bizley said that this was a landmark decision as he was not aware of any motorway speed limits being reduced in the past to meet environmental laws. Mr Bizley said that this plan from the Highways Agency will show the effect that speed can have on pollution levels.
Yet he added: "While preserving air quality is obviously a paramount concern there will inevitably be a negative impact on business efficiency and individual mobility.”
- On: 08 January 2014
- By: CarShop
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