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The RAC has said there would "negative impact on business efficiency and individual mobility" if a lower speed limit of 60mph was introduced more widely.
The Highways Agency proposed a 60mph speed limit on a 32-mile stretch of the M1 as part of an attempt to ease congestion.
The proposed reduction is part of the "smart motorway" scheme, which would involve the hard shoulder being used as an extra lane.
But the added volume of traffic would risk violating EU restrictions on air pollution.
Lowering limits would reduce amounts of pollution emitted by vehicles at high speed and reduce polluting traffic jams, the Highways Agency believes.
Sheffield Labour MP Meg Munn has been talking to ITV's political correspondent Paul Brand about government plans for a 60mph speed limit on a 32-mile stretch of the M1 At South Yorkshire.
The Government is facing criticism over plans to reduce the speed limit on a large section of the M1 to 60 miles per hour. The new limit would apply between Junction 28 near Mansfield and Junction 35a north of Rotherham.
That section of the motorway is due to be expanded in the spring by turning the hard shoulder into four lanes.
The Highways Agency believes that the speed limit needs to be reduced so that the air quality in the area does not worsen once the road is widened.
But both the RAC and Labour argue that a slower speed limit will negate the effect of having four lanes, by keeping drive times down.
The M1 will also see new variable speed limits, applied on top of the permanent maximum of 60 mph, which local Labour MPs say will cause confusion.
A 60mph speed limit on a stretch of the M1 is being proposed by the Government in a bid to cut pollution. The Highways agency says the restrictions, along the 32-mile stretch, would apply from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week.
As part of improvements planned for the M1, the speed limit will be used to manage traffic speeds and help reduce congestion and air pollutants locally. It will be in place from Junction 28, near Matlock, Derbyshire to junction 35a north of Rotherham.