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When Motorways are less occupied by road workers, the general speed limit is set to increase, good idea? or should we avoid life in the fast lane?

With safety remaining a major concern on roads, and just as importantly for the people working on them, it’s no surprise that Agencies like Highways England are constantly seeking ways of ensuring improved safety for all, whilst at the same time trying minimising congestion as the volumes of vehicles increase year on year.

One such recent announcement has been received with both enthusiasm and concern.

The idea is to allow vehicles to travel on motorways at greater speed through road works at different times of the day and different days of the week. Initially it has been suggested that a speed of 60 mph when there no work activity on the road would reduce congestion together with the cost it brings both financially and environmentally, without reducing the safety of either the work force or the motorist. This will involve careful planning and the introduction of new switchable signage possibly electronic signage may form part of the solution.

If the tests prove successful, there are plans to have the new scheme in place later this year or early 2019.

Associations such as Transport Scotland & the Welsh government have stated that currently they have no plans to follow the Highway’s England initiative, they haven’t at present given a reason for not engaging in the trials, although some bodies have voice a genuine concern that whilst increasing the speed could lead to reduced congestion, it may be at too higher a price for potentially reducing safety.

Is this simply a reflection of the smart motorway initiative or something very different?

Written By Nicholas Gordon.