The speed limit during rush hour on the M1 motorway could drop to 60 mph in an effort to cut pollution levels.
If it goes ahead it will be the first pollution based speed limit imposed in Britain. Should it be proved successful it will be imposed 7am to 7pm seven days a week.
Currently, it will be put in place between junctions 32 and 35a near Sheffield at its busiest time. Highways England, is considering the move in an attempt to improve air quality around the city. Fines would be issued for motorists that exceed the speed limit.
A recent study that a steady speed reduces pollution while a constant changing of speed increases it. The study states, “In order to ensure that there is no significant adverse impact on local air quality, it is proposed to implement a maximum (mandatory) 60mph speed limit on this section of the M1 in place of the current national speed limit.
“The proposal is that a maximum mandatory speed limit of 60mph will operate at certain times of the day on the M1 between junctions 28 and 35a when the managed motorway – all lane running schemes are complete.”
If the proposals are implemented around 12,000 vehicles will be affected. This may increase as the motorway becomes a smart road, turning the hard shoulder into a fourth lane. This could increase vehicle capacity by a further 10,000 vehicles.
An AA spokesman said, “Car users are always the easy hit when it comes to pollution when actually they are not one of the main contributors.
“There will be a section of car users, who will see that this is not safety-related, and that they are being penalised for emissions that are likely to have come from other sources as well.”