Don’t get caught out by new 60mph speed limits
To put it mildly, there was a lot going on in 2020. Amidst all the changing regulations and upheaval, this story might have slipped under your radar - in September 2020, Highways England started trialling a new 60mph speed limit on several stretches of UK roads. That means whether you’re driving your own vehicle, or you’re planning to hire a van or hire a car for the day, it’s worth making sure you’re aware of them. Nobody wants to get a penalty notice through the mail!
What’s been going on?
Essentially, the aim of the new speed limits is to to lower the most harmful levels of roadside pollution. 40,000 deaths annually are linked to poor air quality, so Highways England has been under pressure to find new ways to tackle roadside emissions in recent years. Specifically, it’s looking to reduce the levels of NO2, a particularly harmful chemical present in roadside emissions, and one of the main threats to human health.
Now, as part of this initiative, the government-backed agency has identified four of the most polluting roads and has imposed the new 60mph speed limit on them to see what effect it will have. Air quality is now going to be monitored on these roads until the end of 2021, to see what effect it will have on roadside pollution. Highways England is pretty confident in the results, and going by the initial findings, the trial is likely to result in those limits becoming permanent.
Here’s one of the most important things to bear in mind - these new speed limits will be operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Drivers who exceed them could be fined £100 and given three penalty points. So keep a wary eye on what your SatNav tells you is the appropriate speed limit for certain roads, as it may not be fully up to date on the law!
Where will these new speed limits be rolled out?
That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Right now, the trials are limited to the Midlands and the North of England. Affected roads include:M6 between junctions 6 and 7 (near Birmingham) M1 between junctions 33 and 34 (at Rotherham, South Yorkshire) M602 between junctions 1 and 3 (near Eccles, Greater Manchester) M5 between junctions 1 and 2 (at Oldbury, West Midlands)
Whether you’re travelling across these on a personal journey or for work, you’ll be happy to hear that they won’t have a massive impact on your journey times, as the stretches of road where they’ll be implemented are only up to 4.5 miles long. Plus, these limits won’t have a huge impact on logistics firms - larger commercial vehicles will remain unaffected since they’re already limited to 56mph on these roads anyway.
While Highways England do expect these new measures to result in a dropping of emissions, they’ve confirmed that if they’re not having ‘the desired effect’ after 12-15 months after the initial start date of September 2020, then they’ll discontinue them and look at alternative ways to tackle air quality in that area.
However, since initial estimates have shown that these 60mph speed limits have led to a 17% reduction in emissions, in all likelihood they are indeed going to become permanent, so drive accordingly!
And if you’re looking for daily car hire or daily van hire to make your next journey go that much more smoothly, you’re in exactly the right place. Here at Intack Self Drive, we pride ourselves on offering the very best prices on long term or short term hire. Plus, our Flexi Hire service is a great way to enjoy the best prices on longer term hire periods. If you’ve got any questions or need anything clarified, our friendly team is only a phone call away - feel free to give us a ring on 01254 57811!