Variable speed limits could help traffic flow in motorway roadworks

Speed cameras
14 Mar, 2014 10:55am Joe Finnerty

Highways Agency is looking into alterations during off-peak times or when workers aren't on site

Variable speed limits could be introduced on stretches of motorway undergoing roadworks, Auto Express can reveal.

The Highways Agency said it was currently investigating the possibility and feasibility of putting the new system in place.

The existing rules mean drivers have to adhere to a set speed restriction – sometimes as low as 40mph – when travelling through the section of the motorway where work is going on.

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Normally average speed cameras are in place to keep drivers in check when driving through the works because of dangerous narrower lanes or work vehicles.

The new system could see variable speed limits introduced to enable the limit to be raised, though, if nobody is working on the site or at off-peak traffic times.

It wouldn’t be a blanket introduction, however, with each instance taken on a case-by-case basis.

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Road minister Robert Goodwill said: “The Highways Agency will be considering the impact of introducing variable temporary speed limits on stretches of motorways where roadworks are taking place as part of an ongoing programme of research and possible trials.

“Variable speed limits in roadworks may be considered appropriate in certain circumstances but we must keep in mind the primary objective of temporary traffic management which is to maximise the safety of road workers as well as the travelling public.”