Motorway roadworks speed limit: Why has speed limit been raised?

Motorway roadworks speed limit: Why has speed limit been raised?

For many years England’s motorways have been subject to long stretches of roadworks, meaning the standard 70mph speed limit has been reduced to 50mph, causing frustration in drivers. The typical 50mph restriction where work is being carried out will rise to 60mph.

Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England Chief Executive, said: “All of our research shows that road users benefit from 60mph limits in roadworks.

“They have shorter journey times and feel safe.

“Road users understand that roadworks are necessary, but they are frustrated by them.

“So testing 60mph has been about challenging the norm while ensuring the safety of our people working out there and those using our roads.

“We have a huge programme of work planned, so being able to use 60mph where safe will continue to improve everybody’s experience of our roads.”

Not every set of roadworks will be subject to the change, so you should keep your eyes peeled when driving to make sure you are not breaking the law.

The change in policy does not mean limits will be increased at every set of roadworks straight away.

Depending on the road layout and the work being done, 40mph and 50mph restrictions will continue to be used in places.

Government-owned Highways England has tested increased speeds, including through roadworks between junctions 13 and 16 of the M1.

It found the journey time for the 24-mile route was reduced by an average of 68 seconds.

AA president Edmund King claimed driving at 60mph “is often safer than driving at 50mph”.

He said: “Sticking at 50mph often leads to other drivers tailgating in order to try to force vehicles to pull over.

“Plus we have very long stretches of roadworks such as the 32 miles being converted to smart motorway on the M4 between junctions 3 and 12, where 60mph would seem much more appropriate.”

Anthony Smith, chief executive of watchdog Transport Focus, described the introduction of 60mph limits as “a welcome step”.

Published at Sun, 26 Jul 2020 21:51:14 +0000