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Motorway Roadworks Speed Limit Reviewed

Tests carried out have proved the safety of motorists and road workers were not compromised when increasing the UK motorway speed limit up to 60mph during several phases of roadworks.

UK motorway speed limits

After successful trials, Highways England have announced there will soon be an increase of 10mph to the existing 50mph motorway roadworks speed limit, where this is of course safe to do so.

This is welcome news for motorists and all industries like the motor trade, delivery drivers, and vehicle breakdown operators for example, as an increase in the speed limit for sections of motorway roadworks will help cut the overall road transport journey time.

Eight different roadworks locations found journey time reduced by up to 14%, saving drivers and business a combined average of over 3,700 hours of driving time every day.

Private and motor trade insurance companies will be pleased to hear motorists were also found to be driving within this new speed limit.

Highways England Chief Executive, Mr O’Sullivan, said “All of our research shows that road users benefit from 60mph limits in roadworks. They have shorter journey times and feel safe. We have a huge programme of work planned, so being able to use 60mph where safe will continue to improve everybody’s experience of our roads.”

For many years long stretches of the M1, M4, M6 and M20 motorways have enforced speed limits for motorway upgrades and repairs.

According to a recent survey, the M20 in Kent, which links London to the ports of Dover and Channel Tunnel has been voted England’s least most popular major road for the second year running, with only 63% of motorists satisfied with their last journey on the motorway.

Over the two years of the M20 smart motorway roadworks there have been reduced speed limits in place.

At the top end of the satisfaction table was the M11 which links London with Cambridge, that was polled England’s best motorway for journey times and safety, with 92% of motorists satisfied with their last journey using the road.

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Highways England has the responsibility for the management of roadworks across all major A-roads and motorways, they scored an average 68% satisfaction rate on the poll.

Here are the top five roads ranked for overall satisfaction

Mr Gooding, of the RAC said, “The irony is that the more money spent trying to increase capacity on motorways, the greater the short-term congestion. Drivers can only hope that all the years of works and reduced speed limits are worth it in terms of increased capacity. Worryingly though, drivers tell us they have serious concerns about how safe these motorways are.”

Some roadworks will continue to use 40mph and 50mph speed limits because of the road layout in the area, and the type of work being carried out.