Does motorway roadworks speed limit increase put roadworkers at added risk?
Speed limits through most major roadworks in England will be increased to 60mph, Highways England has announced.
Highways England says the move to increase the speed limit from 50mph has been taken in order to ‘increase traffic flow’ and ‘ease driver frustrations’.
It follows a trial, which looked at different ‘scenarios’ within roadworks on England’s strategic road network of motorways and major A roads.
The move has been welcomed by many, despite many unions previously stating that any increase would put the lives of road workers at risk.
In 2019, SHP reported that more than half of road users have admitted driving in ways that put themselves or roadworkers at risk, with 74% admitting to exceeding speed limits.
This followed video footage, released by Highways England, which highlighted the danger reckless motorists can cause to road workers.
The increase will only apply to certain sets of roadworks, depending on the road layout and the type of work being carried out.
The AA has said that the increase will reduce journey times and help reduce tailgating by motorists.
Safer Highways CEO, Kevin Robinson, has welcomed the increase, but urges caution, saying it must be followed with greater enforcement on law breakers.
Speaking about the announcement, Highways England Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan said: “All of our research shows that road users benefit from 60mph limits in roadworks. They have shorter journey times and feel safe.
“Road users understand that roadworks are necessary, but they are frustrated by them. So, testing 60mph has been about challenging the norm while ensuring the safety of our people working out there and those using our roads.”
With employees who drive for business more likely to be killed at work than deep sea divers or coal miners, driver safety is a vital business consideration.
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