Government trials 60mph roadworks limit on M1

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


In an effort to better tackle congestion and delays, the government is trailing the speed limits on sections of the motorway roadworks from 50mph to 60mph, reports say.

Sections of the M1 in Yorkshire have been subject to the testing.

The law currently states that drivers on the motorway must travel through roadworks no faster than 50mph.

The Department of Transport wants to raise speed limits near roadworks and has tasked Highways England to determine whether this can be done “safely.”

Highways England chose a four-mile section of the northbound M1 near Rotherham for the trial, which began in November and is due to continue for another two weeks.

The change is also being considered to happen in an attempt to cut down air pollution. In an attempt to do this, not long ago, health experts at the National Institute and Care Excellence (NICE) called for wider use of average speed checks and variable speed limits.

John Haynes, Transport Minister, said: “Motorists should not be needlessly held up as we deliver a £15 billion upgrade to motorways and major A-roads to improve journeys.

“Safety is our absolute priority. Highways England are carrying out a trial of 60mph on the M1 to see if we can raise the speed limit in roadworks without putting people at risk.”

Before assessing whether the trial is a success, Mr Haynes stated that the results will be looked at carefully before deciding to expand the trial on a wider scale in 2017.

However, the trial has come under scrutiny by construction and roadworkers’ union UCATT, which has termed the experiment as a “deadly version of Wacky Races.”

Acting General Secretary Brian Rye said: “Anyone with a passing knowledge of this dangerous work environment knows that the British motorist routinely smashes through coned areas due to driving incompetence and when they do this our members’ lives are at risk.

“If they do this at an even faster speed workers will die. These proposals will make a dangerous working area twice as dangerous.”

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