Welcome for 60mph speed limit on m-ways
A move to cut the speed limit to 60mph on certain sections of the motorways at the end of this month has been welcomed by a green energy expert.
“It is a necessary experiment to reduce vehicle emissions and improve our roadside air quality in badly polluted areas,” said Ron Fox of Noreus Ltd.
The trial project will be introduced on around five-mile stretches of the M6 and M5 as well as the M1 and the M602.
“The problem,” said Ron, on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park, “is that motorway traffic has risen by almost a quarter over the past 20 years which has led to increased levels nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from engines. This could be partly responsible for up to 40,000 premature deaths a year linked to breathing difficulties from poor air quality.”
“And levels will continue to rise, with £27 billion being earmarked by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to upgrade motorways and main A-roads.”
The move, which is the first time lower speeds have been brought in to assess the impact of slower moving traffic on our atmosphere, will be for up to 15 months and operate 24 hours a day with flashing speed signs.
If successful it will be rolled out across other motorways as the government has identified 101 other parts of the road network system which potentially exceed nitrogen dioxide limits.
From October 1 motorists caught breaking the 60mph limit could face a £100 fine and three penalty points.
The trial will take place on the M6 between junctions 6 and 7 near Birmingham, the M5 junctions 1-2 at Oldbury, the MI junctions 33-34 at Rotherham and the M602 junctions 1-3 at Eccles, near Manchester.
Highways England expect the reduced speed limits to reduce emissions by around 17 per cent.
In another experiment to protect homes from exhaust emissions officials are planning to test pollution barriers about 9 metres high in 101 areas in England where levels of toxic gas may exceed legal limits.
The government has also been consulting on bringing forward the ban on the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars from 2040 to 2035 and this will include hybrids for the first time.
“These are all short and medium-term solutions to the problem,” said Ron. “But the air quality on our roads will only be sorted out by vehicle manufacturers and changes in our way of transport.”For more information about green energy and pollution problems, especially improving the air quality in our homes, call Ron on 0845 474 6641.