Over two thirds of motorists are opposed to Government plans to lower the national speed limit on sections of the M1 to 60mph, according to research conducted by car supermarket Motorpoint.
An online poll, which surveyed over 4,000 drivers, suggested that 78.1 per cent wanted the Highways Agency (HA) to cancel the plans, which have been brought about in an attempt to improve air quality in line with EU targets.
"The Government needs to be focusing its efforts on using the motorway ‘smarter’ rather than harder." – Mark Carpenter, Motorpoint
A 34-mile section of the M1, between Junction 28 in Derbyshire and Junction 35a north of Rotherham, would see a 60mph speed limit imposed between 7am-7pm, seven days a week. In its consultation document the HA has stated that this restriction would likely remain in place for “several years”.
A similar scheme has also been announced for a 2.8-mile stretch of the M3, between Junction 3 in Lightwater and Junction 4 near Farnborough.
The HA claims that a reduced speed limit would bring about “reduced congestion, increased capacity and improved journey time reliability for users of the motorway”.
However, Mark Carpenter, Managing Director of Motorpoint, disagrees: “The results of our poll are definitive – drivers don’t want to go any slower on motorways – rather they want to get their destination quicker,” he said.
“The Government needs to be focusing its efforts on using the motorway ‘smarter’ rather than harder, adding lanes wherever possible to free up traffic and avoid costly queues.
“Motorists are already doing their bit for the environment by buying greener cars in record numbers and the Government needs to respond in kind rather than introducing measures that will only contribute to making our motorways even slower.”
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