Industry

60mph limits through roadworks get the green light

After a lengthy period of consultation and testing, the speed limit on motorway roadworks can be increased from 50 to 60mph if safe to do so

HIGHWAYS England has today announced that it is going to increase the speed limit through motorway roadworks from 50 to 60mph is it is safe to do so.

The move comes after a significant period of consultation and testing, with numerous sites across the UK testing the theory over the last 18 months. Not only did Highways England find that driver felt safer and less frustrated travelling at 60mph, but the trial across all sites is also thought to have saved motorists around 3,780 of travelling time every day.

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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.”

Interestingly, the increased speed limit was found to have an immediate effect on the number of drivers speeding through roadworks, with more drivers staying within the new 60mph speed limit than when compared to driving at 50mph.

Some road projects, which trialled the 60mph during an eight or 10-week period over the last 18 months, were confident with how the increased speed limit was operating so rolled it out further within the roadworks or kept it on until the work completed.

On the M1 between junctions 13 to 16 in Northamptonshire, the M6 between junctions 13 to 15 in Staffordshire, and on the M4 between junctions 3 to 12 near Reading, the 60mph is still in use as work continues to upgrade the road – further benefiting thousands of people each day as they use these motorways.

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