The speed limit on parts of England’s highway network will be lowered to 60 miles per hour in an effort to reduce emissions and air pollution.
Highways England plans to lower the speed limit at four locations by the end of September in a trial aimed at addressing the impact of cars on the climate.
Over the next 12 to 15 months, the organization will test the effect of lower speeds on local pollution, and if proven effective, it could stay in place and lead to lower speeds elsewhere.
Drivers can be fined £ 100 and receive three penalty points for their license if they fail to comply with the minimum. Highways England said law enforcement would be the prerogative of the police.
This is the first time the government has attempted to lower the speed limit for cars on highways in England to reduce emissions.
Next comes The Independent An exclusive analysis this week showed that nearly 60 percent of the population in England live in areas where levels of toxic air pollutants exceed the legal limit.
Labor researchers found that legal limits for nitrogen dioxide – the vast majority of which comes from road travel – were broken in 142 local authorities last year, potentially affecting as many as 33 million people.
In the end, the air quality challenge will be resolved ‘in the tailpipe’ by car manufacturers and changes in vehicle use, ”said the head of the environment for highways in England, Evan Lefevre.
“Until this happens, we will continue our research and solutions program.
“Experimenting with speed limits will remain in place until the shift to cleaner cars means we can remove restrictions and maintain cleaner air.”
The cuts will be made on a four-and-a-half mile stretch of the M6 motorway near Birmingham; M5 in Oldbury, M1 in Rotherham, and M602 near Eccles.
The new limits will not affect the larger commercial vehicles, which are limited to 56 mph.
A spokesperson for Highways in England said that levels of nitrogen oxides in each of the selected regions exceed the recommended limits, and the trial feeds into the government’s plan to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.
The World Health Organization calculates that air pollution was thought to have caused 64,000 deaths in the UK in 2015, including 17,000 fatal cases of cardiovascular disease.
According to a 2019 study in European Heart JournalAir pollution could be responsible for more deaths globally than smoking, with up to 8.8 million deaths attributed to harmful compounds in the air we breathe.
The fine particles of soot and nitrogen oxides pumped out from automobile exhaust – as well as factories and power plants – can form a harmful combination that dramatically increases rates of heart attacks, strokes and severe asthma attacks.