UK motorway speed limit to be reduced to 60 mph to reduce pollution

Four motorways will see this cut

6w ago


As part of a scheme to reduce the amount of pollution, The Department of Transport has decided to trial speed limit cuts across four UK motorways.

These cuts will include the speed limit being reduced from 70 mph to 60 mph in order to reduce pollution levels.

The four motorways in question are the M6 junctions 6 to 7 by Witton, M1 junctions 33 to 34 by Rotherham, M602 junctions 1 to 3 by Eccles and M5 1 to 2 by Oldbury.

Nitrogen dioxide released from car exhausts is counted as a serious air pollutant and indirectly contributes to the warming of the planet. As a result of this, the speed limit will be reduced and then reviewed in a year's time.

Head of environment at Highways England, Ivan Le Fevre said: "Ultimately the air quality challenge will be solved 'at the tailpipe' by vehicle manufacturers and changes in vehicle use."

"Until this happens we will continue our extensive programme of pioneering research and solutions."

The Department for Transport said the trial was among a number of measures to improve air quality. And as part of the plan to bring down NO2 levels, the government aims to end the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans before 2040.

There have been talks of bringing this closer to 2035 but nothing has been confirmed as of yet. This is set to be announced in the coming months, maybe even years.

Do you think this is a good idea?

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Comments (100)

  • Seriously!? What difference would cruising at 10mph less do? Anyone who's driven on the M1 when speed restrictions are in place will know that traffic builds up and the sections become more crowded. Surely that's worse for the atmosphere than having the traffic more spread out? Idk the physics, but in traffic jams at least, air quality can be grim.

      1 month ago
    • I couldn’t agree more

        1 month ago
    • What makes the difference is that these lower speeds are enforced, unlike 70mph. When there is a average speed trap of 60, everyone puts on the cruise control, turns on the radio, and relaxes. This is when consumption of fuel drops right...

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        1 month ago
  • This will make journey times longer meaning that engines are running for an extended period of time. Introduce an Autobahn style system and then cars can get to their destination quicker meaning they're spending less time on the road.

      1 month ago
  • I understand the pollution argument, but cars are getting cleaner all the time anyway, and also the whole point of motorways is to aid the speedy transfer of large volumes of traffic over long distances: their very design; straight wide roads with good surfaces and very gentle curves is to aid this fast flow. It’s like giving me a huge bucket of hot wings and telling me I can only eat one per hour. If you’re going to tell us to drive slowly, then stop spending a fortune on motorways and replace them with a network of winding country lanes, then at least we can have fun at sixty miles per hour.

      1 month ago
  • F**king bollocks. The Department of Transport has decided to trial speed limit cuts across four UK motorways to improve Treasury income from speeding fines! They obviously were on Study Tour in Australia, especially Victoria and NSW.

      1 month ago
    • Nope. They've been doing this for a while already on the M4 from Swansea to Port Talbot, as well as the variable speed limit section around Newport.

        1 month ago
  • Urgh. This has made me cross. It seems whoever is in charge won’t be happy until we are at a complete standstill. Anyway I should be exempt if pollution is the reason!

      1 month ago
    • Not reason, but an excuse to improve Government finances through speeding fines! Germany is good example. When they want to reinforce something, it done by means other than fines. Incidentally, I was once fined for speeding in Germany a...

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        1 month ago
    • D'OH!

        1 month ago


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