British motorists face permanent 60mph speed limits on up to 250 miles of the motorway network
30 December 2009

British motorists face permanent 60mph speed limits on up to 250 miles of the motorway network under a little-known government scheme for the introduction of ‘controlled motorways’.

To be rolled out over the next five years, controlled motorway speed limits could be pushed down to 50mph and 40mph at the busiest times of the day, according to government documents.

The scheme will deploy an enormous array of new technology (including average speed cameras and sensors buried in the road surface) and will usually be introduced alongside ‘hard shoulder’ running, where the hard shoulder is used as a fourth lane on very busy stretches of motorway.

According to a Department for Transport report for the Secretary of State for Transport, “The controlled motorway (CM) system is designed to minimise the risk of flow breakdown and reduce accidents, thereby producing more reliable journey times.”

However, it goes on to say, “Mandatory speed limits are set automatically… 60mph and 50mph speed limits are displayed on the overhead gantries to address congestion. When necessary to protect traffic from queues, 40mph limits can also be set.”

In a surprise move, the Highways Agency has also been given its own Digital Enforcement Camera System (HADECS), which downloads information about speeding cars directly to “a secure police office”.

Following research that has been conducted on the M42, speed limits between 40mph and 60mph are now regarded by the DfT as ideal for minimising CO2 emissions.

“Emissions per mile fall as average speed increases to 40-50mph, where the fuel efficiency of the engine is greatest, and then rises as the average speed increases towards 70mph and fuel efficiency falls,” the report states.

The DfT’s initial plans for controlled motorways are ambitious, covering the whole of the M25, stretches of the M40, M3, M4 and M23, as well as most of the roads around Birmingham.

The M1 into Yorkshire and the M6 between Birmingham and Manchester are earmarked, as is the Manchester ring road and M6 north of Preston. Hard-shoulder running was trialled on the M42 near Solihull, and is now live on the M6.

The DfT has been considering road charging in these areas for more than a decade. Perhaps it is no coincidence that part of the CM technology is also ideal for tolling.

Ramp metering uses slip-road traffic lights to regulate traffic flow onto the motorway. But running vehicles more slowly on and off the motorway could make it easier to introduce tolls, probably via windscreen-mounted charge cards.

Although the current government says it has dropped plans for national tolling, sceptics say this leaves the way open for local charging.

Hilton Holloway

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Comments
71

30 December 2009

Looks like I'll be using more A roads in the future to make my journeys more interesting.

Or will get the wife to drive on the motorway parts of the journey!

30 December 2009

BORING BORING BORING BORING BORING RUBBISH RUBBISH. This Government can go to Hell and all of those do gooders who claim cars are evil, and speed kills.It is ALL a LOAD of BOLL**KS.

It is time to start a Revolution - the Voting, tax paying man and woman should stand up and fight these faceless bast**ds.

30 December 2009

Ive got an idea, why dont we scrap motorways & go back to horse & carts? Progress only seem to be going backwards nowadays anyway.

Hopefully our enlightened government will take us back to the dark ages where people lived their whole lives without ever leaving their villages. How wonderful. Then we can all minimise our carbon footprints. Industrial revolution? We were taught at school that it was the beginning of an enlightened age. Soon theyll be teaching that it was the beginning of the destruction of the world.

Rant over, Im off to drive my gas-guzzling 4x4 through all the snow (clear evidence of global warming, obviously) & go & stock up on food before our unelected communist government start charging me to drive the half a mile to tesco.

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

30 December 2009

Bunch of total... ugh, I don't even know what to call them. What a joke. Maybe a coordinated effort in to delivering a fast, effective, cheap public transport system - increasing the level of freight transported by rail and finally focusing money from these cameras/sensors etc in to widening and improving major trunk roads at known bottlenecks. Proper investment in our infrastructure, the government would be shocked at the knock-on benefits to all areas of the economy. Does Lord Adonis have anything to do with this? He's a man I've almost come around to respecting at times - one of the very few across all three parties.

30 December 2009

Please tell me this is a joke.

I think I will go dual carriage way and B routes all the way now to places no offence government you get enough money off me on taxes etc i do not want 2 give you money for speeding fines when im doing nothing wrong.

Also couldnt the money being used on this be used for say get us out our huge national debt but NO gordan brown wants to spend more on doing something that is not actually that badly needed.

I think a new petition should be started to stop this plan from happening which I think most commuters will probably agree.

Gordan Brown no offence but arent you meant to trying 2 gain support for an election you seem 2 be more and more likely to lose instead of ruining our future.

All I will say is hope you enjoy winding up people Gordan Brown you seem to have a good skill at doing that

30 December 2009

WOW! Didnt think this news would hurt even though I live in the US! I sure feel bad for you guys, it must be unbearable news for all of you. The frightening thing is that this is probably what direction our government will follow and definitely not a wise path. I am afraid that my grey hairs wont be from babysitting kids or being a workaholic but from driving! Anyway's I must admit that I sure hate these people in charge, a brick must have fallen on their head. Its impossible to be that stupid!

30 December 2009

Instead of spending all the money and time on sensors, why not introduce a maximum of 50mph between 7am and 9am first.

30 December 2009

For forks sake ! What are these numptees going to come up with next. Er aren't motroways supposed to be for fast travel. Surely there must be one politician out there with some sense.

Sorry there cant be as they are all paying their relatives to fill in dodgy expense forms.

Ugh they make me puke !

Mark my words toll charges are a coming !

30 December 2009

That's not really news, is it?

We've had "congestion speed limits" on the M25 and M42 (and probably other places) for some time.

Lowering the limit and keeping it flowing is fine, its the sensors and average speed cameras that annoy, you end up watching the speedo instead of the road.

They should spend some money improving the surfaces and filling potholes properly, instead of "new technology"

In reality its another Stealth Tax, all this green and speed kills stuff is crap, its industry that pollutes the most, not car drivers.

Lowering speed limits does not save lives either.

(I do appreciate that if you have lost a loved one, you may well have a different view, I would too)

30 December 2009

Why don't those in charge just stop leading us all up the garden path and go the full hog and ban everyone from driving cars full stop, because that appears to be the goal from politicians. And to round it off, send anyone to jail should they even utter words like speed, power, driving enjoyment.

And then make our useless public transport system worse than it is now so we don't have a viable alternative meaning that we'd be unable to travel anywhere unless we walk or cycle, otherwise we'd be forced to work, shop and live with the confines of our own villages, towns and cities.

I'm sure the environmentalist would jump with joy!

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