Highways England has introduced a new 60mph speed limit on motorways affected by roadworks. The previous 50mph speed limit has now been raised in order to cut journey times and minimise frustration, the government-owned company confirmed.
This change has been implemented after a trial of the higher speed limit was conducted over an 18 month period. On average, it found that journey times fell by 3,780 hours a day, at 8 sites. Also, more motorists stayed within the legal limit and the average speed of traffic increased.
According to Autocar, Highways England explained that ‘where it is safe for road users and road workers’, vehicles can be driven at ‘up to 60mph’ if this higher limit is confirmed by signs. Chief Executive, Jim O’Sullivan, added: ‘Research showed that road users benefit from 60mph limits in roadworks. They have shorter journey times and feel safe.’
Mr O’Sullivan also explained that, in the immediate future, a vast amount of roadworks are planned so the higher speed limit will likely benefit a lot of people. ‘We have a huge programme of work planned, so being able to use 60mph where safe will continue to improve everybody’s experience’, he highlighted.
The higher speed limit close to roadworks has already been welcomed by motorists. After consulting with motorway users, Highways England concluded that there is support; with motorists claiming that the limit is ‘appropriate’ and ‘safe’.