Motorway speed limits to be slashed to 60mph to reduce pollution

Motorists face longer journey times as motorway speed limits are set to be reduced in an effort to fight air pollution in badly affected areas of England.

A trial project has been implemented in four areas of the country to test the impact reducing the speed limit from 70mph to 60mph will have on overall transport emission pollution.

The trials have been introduced by Highways England across four stretches of road each up to 4.5 miles in length.

One stretch of road is on the M6 between junctions 6 and 7 near Birmingham, with a second stretch where the limit is being reduced to 60mph on the M5 between junctions 1 and 2 near Oldbury.

While a third party of motorway is on the M1 between junctions 33 and 34 near Rotherham, and the fourth is on the M602 near Eccles between junctions 1 and 3.

Those who breach the speed limit will be slapped with a £100 fine and three pearly points.

The trial is expected to be in place for at least 12 to 15 months and will be introduced by the end of September – but this time could be extended.

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Similar restrictions could be rolled out across other parts of the country should the trials be found to successfully help reduce air pollution.

Early indications have led to a 17 per cent reduction in air pollutants, according to the MailOnline.

It is believed almost 40,000 deaths in England are related to air pollution every year.

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The trial hopes to tackle nitrogen dioxide emissions from cars with the aim of reducing deaths.

Meanwhile, Head of Environment at Highways England, Ivan Le Fevre, told The Times: "Ultimately the air-quality challenge will be solved "at the tailpipe" by vehicle manufacturers and changes in vehicle use.

"Until this happens we will continue our programme of research and solutions."

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