To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Speed Limit on UK's Busiest Motorway Aims to Cut Air Pollution


By Laura Sinpetru, January 7, 2014

 The UK hopes a new speed limit on M1 will help reduce air pollution

The Highways Agency in the United Kingdom has announced plans to introduce a new speed limit on a portion of the country's busiest motorway, i.e. the M1.

Information shared with the public says that the motorway stretch targeted by this initiative extends over 32 miles (51.5 kilometers).

The new speed limit is to be imposed between junction 28, near Matlock in Derbyshire to junction 35a, north of Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

According to Click Green, the Highways Agency wants to have the maximum speed limit on this portion of the motorway reduced from the current national standard of 70 miles per hour (112.6 kilometers per hour) to 60 miles per hour (96.5 kilometers per hour).

Drivers would have to abide by this new speed limit all seven days of the week, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., the same source details.

Interestingly enough, the Highways Agency is to impose the 60 miles per hour maximum speed limit on said stretch of the M1 motorway not due to considerations having to do with road safety, but in order to reduce the amount of air pollution caused by vehicles traveling on this road.

More precisely, the Agency believes that, thanks to the new speed limit, both vehicle congestion and emissions will be significantly reduced.

This is because, as shown by several studies, stop/start traffic causes more air pollution than a smooth flow of vehicles does.

The Highways Agency details that, since the speed limit is merely intended to improve on local air quality, it will be lifted as soon as a drop in pollution levels is reported.

“To remove the speed limit, the air quality along the corridor and in the wider area would need to improve so that the impacts of the managed motorway – all lane running schemes operating at the national speed limit are no longer significantly adverse,” it writes in a statement.

Furthermore, “As soon as those impacts reduce to an acceptable level the speed limit will be lifted. For the purposes of this consultation, it should be assumed that the speed limit will need to be in place for several years.”

By the looks of it, this is the first time when the United Kingdom has ever considered imposing new speed limits in order to reduce air pollution.