Road Safety News

HA opens consultation on 60mph limit for section of M1

Monday 6th January 2014

The Highways Agency has launched a consultation on a proposal to reduce the speed limit to 60mph for a 32-mile stretch of the M1, in a bid to cut pollution.

The new lower limit would apply from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week from junction 28, near Matlock, Derbyshire, to junction 35a, north of Rotherham.

In a report on the BBC News website, the RAC says that, if implemented, this would be the first time that a variable speed limit had been used to reduce air pollution. The RAC also warns that reducing the maximum speed could "pave the way for similar restrictions on other sections of motorway" and there would "inevitably be a negative impact on business efficiency and individual mobility".

As well as reducing pollution, the Highways Agency says the move would deliver "reduced congestion, increased capacity and improved journey time reliability for users of the motorway".

The Highways Agency proposal comes as new EU guidelines on air quality come into force this year. The BBC News report says that Highways Agency believes that a lower limit is needed to ensure the new guidelines will be met on this section of the M1.

The Highways Agency consultation will run for a period of eight weeks until 3 March.


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You may find the answer to some of your questions on sustainability here:-

Then you can answer the question yourself.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (2) | Disagree (1)

The government is proposing to spend £50 billion on HS2 and pours money into the existing rail network mainly for the sake of shortening journey times. Yet with every decreasing speed limits, licence holders only get deliberately longer journey times!
I see Rod King raises the question of sustainability. Can he please tell me why that when using diesel fuel in a bus/taxi/train it is 'sustainable' but when used in a private car/truck it is not sustainable?
Terry Hudson, Kent

Agree (7) | Disagree (6)

The frustration caused by two LGVs at 56mph trying to make progress side by side in a managed (camera laden) stretch of motorway and a car at the same speed in lane 3 will manifest itself at the far end of the restriction with the 'Wacky Races' behaviour when the 70 starts (with no enforcement cameras). Measure the air quality there!
Olly, Lancs

Agree (11) | Disagree (2)

When Income Tax was introduced it was a "temporary measure". I cannot see any way scientific evidence could be produced to show reducing a speed limit from 70 to 60mph would have any perceptible decrease in air quality over a wider area, let alone a local one. A more substantial effect would be to ban buses from all major towns.
Derek Reynolds, Salop.

Agree (8) | Disagree (8)

Can anyone else see the contradiction between the article from DfT praising its "sustainable travel" whilst at the same time HA is increasing capacity of motorway by 33% with an extra lane with the expectation of a traffic increase which will necessitate a speed reduction due to effect of increase on emissions. Is there any benefit of "sustainable transport" if at the same time you are increasing the "unsustainable transport"?
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (5) | Disagree (12)

I see what they are doing. Instead of receiving complaints of the slowing of vehicles due to lorries double parked (so to speak) they are actually going to reduce all speeds to that of such lorries so that no one can complain as they cannot overtake even if they wanted to.
bob craven Lancs

Agree (13) | Disagree (1)

They promise this reduction is temporary (couple of years) but will most motorists believe that promise, especially when 80mph is apparently still being considered?

Speeding here will be an offence of "polluting more than needed by an immeasurable amount", a lesser offence than littering. Therefore £60 and 3 points is massively higher than any civilised society ought levy. A simple £10 fine might be the maximum reasonable penalty.

But we know what will happen. The driver of a new car will be prosecuted for polluting at 70mph when the driver of an old car, who is causing more pollution at 60mph, is not prosecuted. I worry this new lower speed limit will bring the law itself into further disrepute.
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (26) | Disagree (9)