Speed limit to be cut to 60mph on M1

Speed limit to be cut to 60mph on M1
6 Jan, 2014 3:48pm Chris Ebbs

Lower limit to be introduced to manage traffic speeds and help reduce congestion and emissions

The Highways Agency is proposing a new 60mph limit on a section of the M1 motorway in a bid to cut traffic, reduce pollution and manage traffic speeds.

A consultation has been set up, with the plans making up part of the M1 improvements in South Yorkshire and the East Midlands.

The lower limit would be in place between junction 28 at Mansfield and junction 35a at Sheffield and Rotherham and would be enforced between 7am and 7pm.

This section of road will also be part of the managed motorway all lane running scheme, which will see the hard shoulder opened up as a fourth lane for motorists to use.

However, as the stretch is in an Air Quality Management Area, implementing the all lane running scheme - with levels of traffics expected to grow – would have had an adverse effect on local air quality, according to the Agencys environmental assessment.

The Agency said that any mandatory speed limit put in place will only be enforced for as long as is necessary to mitigate significant air quality impacts. Once this is done, then the speed limit would be lifted back to the national limit.

It claimed that this would also be achieved over time with new, cleaner vehicles being introduced and at the same time older, more polluting cars becoming obsolete and leaving the road.

The plans could be altered, however, following assessment. The Agency states that it could amend the hours of the limits for example to peak hours, as well as the days it is in place, such as Monday to Friday. It may also reduce the distance over which the limit applies.

Any new limit will be enforced using gantry mounted and verge mounted speed cameras as well as standard police enforcement.

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