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Motorway speed limits to be cut with harmful emissions on the rise

Highways England have launched a report which units out the modifications that can want to be made to cut back ranges of poisonous nitrogen dioxide (NO2). It discovered that 30 areas of highway networks exceed the authorized restrict of 40 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre.

Nitrogen dioxide is a pollutant which aggravates the airways in the human respiratory system and is alleged to be linked to 40,000 untimely deaths a year.

An extra 35 areas are additionally being investigated.



The areas which have been flagged by Highways England will undertake extra air high quality modelling and if crucial, mitigation measures will be put in place.

In not less than 9 of the 30 recognized areas, the speed restrict will want to be cut to 60mph or decrease so as to cut back NO2 emissions.

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This will embody the M32 in Bristol, the M6 and M5 close to Birmingham and the M1 between Sheffield and Rotherham.

Mike Wilson, the Chief Highways Engineer, praised the Government for taking motion to decrease the ranges of NO2 round the roads.

He mentioned: “The long-term solution to improving air quality will come from the shift to lower emission vehicles.

“To support this transition, we are working in partnership with local authorities to encourage the switch to cleaner vehicles, funding practical initiatives such as the ‘try before you buy’ electric van centres to allow local businesses to trial electric vehicles in real world conditions.

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“In partnership with the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU), we have explored a wide range of measures and ideas. 

“We have a programme to assess and deliver improvements in air quality at locations on the SRN that are modelled to exceed NO2 limit values.”

Another measure that Highways England are trialling is visitors administration.

This will embody small scale native measures which will enhance or cut back the circulate of visitors and cut back emissions.

An different choice is to build an air high quality barrier, which is the building of a nine-metre-high barrier which can lure the NO2 behind the barrier, decreasing the emissions in the surrounding areas.

This all comes as the Government continues to work in direction of its purpose of decarbonising the strategic highway community.

Highways England try to obtain web zero for its personal operations by 2030, adopted by web zero highway upkeep and building by 2040.

In line with the Government, Highways England will help web zero carbon journey on the roads by 2050.

Nick Harris, Acting Chief Executive of Highways England, commented on the plans, highlighting the risk of local weather change.

He mentioned: “Today roads are a convenient, efficient and low-cost way to travel which is why nine out of 10 passenger miles and 79 per cent of all freight moves on roads.

“Our plans set out how emissions from our own operations, our construction and our customers will reduce over the coming years.

“It will put roads at the heart of the low carbon economy, while preserving the convenience and economic benefit of an efficient road network.”


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