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The UK’s “First” Green Speed Limit Proposed For M1

M1 "Green" Speed

The RAC has warned the government’s proposed green speed limit on a section of the M1 could have a negative impact on business efficiency and mobility.

The government is reportedly set to propose a new “green” 60mph speed limit on a section of the M1 in a bid to reduce air pollution and, while the RAC welcomes any move to reduce pollution, they say the government should also consider other alternatives to speed reduction.

RAC technical director David Bizley, said: "This very powerfully demonstrates the impact that speed has on emissions and many will be surprised to hear that a reduction of just 10mph can have such a significant effect on improving air quality.

“While preserving air quality is obviously a paramount concern there will inevitably be a negative impact on business efficiency and individual mobility.

“Perhaps the government should be considering reintroduction of incentives to scrap older high polluting vehicles to minimise the need for speed restrictions of the type proposed.”

The reduced speed limit would apply to a 32-mile stretch between junction 28, near Matlock in Derbyshire, and junction 35a, north of Rotherham.

While variable speed limits have been widely used to help traffic flow, the RAC points out this could be the first time they have been used to cut air pollution.

David Bizley, added: "This is a landmark proposal as to the best of our knowledge motorway speed limits have not previously been lowered in order to comply with environmental legislation.

"If this becomes reality for the 34-mile stretch of the M1, which seems highly likely, it would certainly negate some of the current benefits of operating this section as a 'smart' motorway where motorists are allowed to use the hard shoulder to reduce congestion.”

Do you agree with this proposal and how could it affect your business? Tweet your thoughts @WinnAssist

(Image courtesy of David Dixon /


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