Faster speed limits set to be introduced to help ease congestion

by admin on December 23, 2016

speedsThe festive period is almost upon us, and the government has brought some Christmas cheer to motorists up and down the country.  Highways England, the company in charge of Motorways up and down the country, have announced they are set to introduce a trial that will see speed limits imposed on motorways under maintenance will be increased from 50mph to 60mph.

The trial is initially set to be introduced on a four-mile stretch of the northbound M1 near Rotherham, and if proven successful with an easing of congestion, it will then be implemented nationwide in the New Year.

There are fewer more infuriating experiences as a motorist than undertaking a cross-country journey that sees you cruising along a quiet motorway at 50mph due to an unattended stretch of roadworks, for mile after mile.  This latest announcement from the government will ease this strain, whilst also easing the congestion strain during the busier hours which cause the busy roads to grind to a stop.

The announcement hasn’t come without controversy however, as union bosses have been quick to indicate their employees are faced with a much higher risk in what they called a ‘deadly version of whacky races’, claiming it made the roads more than twice as dangerous for its staff.

Transport Minister John Hayes has been the man behind the push, and he has also pushed to get the maximum length of roadworks down to 10 miles as well as additional use of contraflows on the opposite side of the motorway to reduce the disruption it can cause.

The move could be well timed as the Government plans to roll out 4,000 miles of smart motorways in coming months by allowing the hard shoulder to double up as an extra lane, and this massive process will inevitably see a lengthy period of long sections of roadworks.  Hayes has acted having listened to the increased anger at average speed cameras which monitor drivers through the 50mph phases.  The cameras have been known to catch thousands of motorists a day and generate the Government over £3million a year in fines.

The Government has pledged to spend a substantial £15.2 billion on resurfacing and improving England’s motorways and A-roads, and this latest move is set to relieve pressure on some of the most affected areas such as the M1, M6, M11 and M20.  We look to hearing how the trial goes!


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