60mph limit on M1 proposed
A consultation document has been published on the Highways Agency’s proposal to implement a 60mph maximum mandatory speed limit between junction 28 at Mansfield and junction 35a at Sheffield and Rotherham between 07.00 and 19.00, seven days a week, as part of improvements planned for the motorway. The speed limit would be used to manage traffic speeds and help reduce congestion and air pollutants locally. According to the Agency, environmental assessments carried out on the proposed smart motorways schemes on that section of the road showed there was likely to be an adverse impact on local air quality if the motorway continued to operate at the national speed limit. The consultation will finish on 3 March 2014. The proposed maximum mandatory speed limit would work in parallel with variable speed limits which would be set as part of the congestion reduction measures for smart motorways. Construction of the smart motorway schemes is scheduled to start in spring 2014.
A Highways Agency spokesperson said, ‘This is not lowering the national speed limit across the motorway network. This is a consultation on the speed limits on this particular section of the M1 – during certain times of the day – when the variable speed limits may well have been implemented anyway. Regular drivers will know we routinely lower the speed limit on motorways to ease congestion and smooth the flow of traffic – and in this case this is being considered to improve air quality. This is a consultation at this stage; no final decisions have been taken. The consultation document is published on: www.gov.uk/government/publications to give interested parties or individuals the opportunity to comment.’