Proposed 60mph zone 'could pave way' for lower speed limit

Motoring campaigners have warned that speed limits on motorways across the country could be lowered to 60mph after the Highways Agency proposed this on a section of the M1. The measure is designed to improve air quality.

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RAC: Lower speed limit would have 'negative impacts'

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.

While preserving air quality is obviously a paramount concern there will inevitably be a negative impact on business efficiency and individual mobility.

This very powerfully demonstrates the impact that speed has on emissions and many will be surprised to hear that a reduction of just 10mph can have such a significant effect on improving air quality.

Perhaps the Government should be considering reintroduction of incentives to scrap older high polluting vehicles to minimise the need for speed restrictions of the type proposed.

– David Bizley, technical director, RAC

Lower speed limit proposal prompted by EU restrictions

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.

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Speed limit 'could be lowered to 60mph on motorways'

Motoring campaigners have warned that speed limits on motorways across the country could be lowered after the Highways Agency proposed a 60mph zone on a section of the M1.

Traffic on the M1 motorway Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The plan would come into effect between junction 28 of the M1 at Mansfield and junction 35a for Sheffield and Rotherham between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week.

The Highways Agency said the reduced speed limit would be used to help reduce carbon emissions along the route.

But RAC technical director David Bizley said the trial "could pave the way for similar restrictions on other sections of motorway".

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