Highways England is considering imposing a 60mph speed limit on a new stretch of smart motorway in a bid to cut air pollution.
The speed limit is one of a number of options it is looking at, after an environmental impact assessment in the early stages of the M1 smart motorway scheme between 28 to 35a near Sheffield found issues around air quality.
A spokesman for Highways England said: “With increasing capacity it could mean there are more cars and therefore the possibility for more pollution. From our perspective we’re assessing a range of options.”
Whether any speed limit would be variable is still being considered. “There are a lot of things that can be done (to cut pollution),” said the spokesman. “Some work in different situations, some don’t.”
A Mouchel air quality assessment technical report for Highways England from 2015 suggests the 60mph limit at peak times as the optimal model.