Motorists have expressed mixed views over plans to introduce a lower mandatory speed limit on the M1 in South Yorkshire.
The Highways Agency is proposing to implement a speed limit of 60mph between junction 28 at Mansfield and junction 35a at Rotherham between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week, as part of improvements planned for the M1.
Environmental assessments carried out on the planned M1 improvement scheme, where the hard shoulder will be used as an extra lane, show there is likely to be an adverse impact on local air quality if the motorway continues to operate at 70mph.
Motorist Dean Raynes said: “A reduction of the speed limit on the M1 could make the road safer, however I do fear that it would just make already aggressive road users more impatient and force them to take more risks, therefore causing more accidents. It could do more harm then good.”
Andy Coldwell branded the speed limit ‘ridiculous’ and said: “I bet they fit new speed cameras to enforce it too.”
A Highways Agency spokesman said: “Clean air is important for human health and the health of the environment which is why an improvement scheme may be operated differently until air quality levels sufficiently improve.
“Options are considered carefully on a scheme-by- scheme basis as part of the environmental assessments carried out on all projects ahead of any work starting.
“Smart motorways add extra capacity by converting the hard shoulder into a permanent running lane which is supported and controlled by variable mandatory speed limits to manage traffic and reduce congestion.
“The proposed mandatory speed limit would work in parallel with the variable speed limits which would be set as part of the congestion reduction measures for smart motorways.”