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Government Looks to New Speed Limits to Reduce Pollution Levels

January 7, 2014
Environmental Protection

M1 speed limitA proposal to introduce a 60mph speed limit on part of the M1 motorway in Derbyshire has been welcomed by environmental campaigners. The move, aimed at lowering levels of road traffic pollution, comes just two years after the government proposed an increase in the speed limit on major roads to shorten journey times and boost the economy.

Likely to be unpopular with many drivers, AA president Edmund King has accepted that the suggestion provides the only solution to current problems: “It’s the only way to reduce emissions until the technology kicks in and makes engines cleaner, so it’s something we have to live with. You can’t really be against it, but many drivers will be frustrated and bemused. Earlier this year there was talk of an 80mph speed limit and now it’s gone down to 60mph.” The restriction will operate between 7am and 7pm from junction 28 of the M1 near Matlock in Derbyshire to junction 35a north of Rotherham, a 32-mile stretch that contains a number of Air Quality Management Areas and is close to other sensitive sites.

Congestion in the area has already seen the introduction of a smart motorway scheme allowing drivers to use the hard shoulder, however government officials are concerned that the additional traffic will push pollution levels above European Union guidelines. An eight week consultation into the proposal is due to finish on Monday 3rd March. Local authorities, transport associations and the emergency services have all been asked to comment.   

A copy of the full consultation document can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/m1-junctions-28-to-35a-maximum-mandatory-speed-limit