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Author: Bryn Davies
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Plans to enforce a 60mph speed limit on a 32 mile section of the M1 were revealed this morning.

The new restriction, which would be in effect from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week, has been proposed in a bid to cut pollution. It would be in place from Junction 28, near Matlock in Derbyshire, to junction 35a, north of Rotherham.

 While variable speed limits are in place throughout the country to aid traffic flow, the move to implement a speed limit with the aim of cutting pollution is a first and the RAC has voiced its concerns.

“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,” said RAC technical director David Bizley before warning; “More worryingly, it could pave the way for similar restrictions on other sections of motorway”.

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

The Highways Agency has said that the current use of the 70mph speed limit for motorways was having an adverse impact on air quality and reducing the speed limit would reduce emissions, stating that the change would; “reduce congestions, increase capacity and improve journey time reliability for users of the motorway.”

If the 60mph limit gets implemented then it’ll likely remain for “several years”.

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