Speed limits through motorway roadworks could be increased, Highways England confirms

editorial image

DRIVERS could be allowed to drive faster through motorway roadworks, under new plans from Highways England.

Following earlier trials to increase the speed limit through roadworks from 50mph to 55mph or even 60mph, Highways England is set to test whether varying speed limits could safely be operated within a set of roadworks without increasing the risks to either drivers or road workers.

The move would potentially see drivers allowed to go past at 60mph when work is not taking place, slowing down to 50mph when road workers are working within a few feet of passing traffic.

Roadworks will begin on the M27 later this year as the smart motorway work gets underway.

Jim O’Sullivan, chief executive of Highways England, said: ‘People understand roadworks are necessary but are also frustrated by them. At the same time we have to ensure as they drive through them that they, and our road workers, are safe.

‘So we are always thinking of new ways to improve journeys at the same time as keeping everyone as safe as we can. That is why over the next 12 months we will test changes to the design and operation of roadworks.

‘We are also working hard to give drivers more and better information about their journeys and to prepare our network for the future, for example the testing of roadside and vehicle technology, so we can continue to keep people, and the country, connected.’

Locations for the trials are yet to be agreed