Motorway speed limits cut to 60 mph in bid to reduce carbon emissions

By Paul Homewood


h/t Dennis Ambler


Highways England has kicked off a 12-month trial on sections of motorway in England.

In 2019, the transport sector accounted for 34% of the UK’s total carbon emissions, according to GOV.UK. It’s also the UK’s largest producer of emissions.

The UK has set itself an ambitious target to become a zero-carbon country by 2050.

But we won’t reach that target unless the government takes greater action. That’s according to Energy Institute’s Energy Barometer report.

To that end, Highways England has cut the speed limit on certain sections of motorway to 60 mph.

This is part of a trial that it hopes will help bring road emissions down to legal levels.

But one in four (26%) people think it’s not worth the inconvenience*.

How does speed impact carbon emissions?

Speeding up requires power, which burns more fuel. Slowing down uses the brakes, which give off harmful brake-dust particles.

With constant speeding up and slowing down on the motorway, you can see how pollution can build up fast.

Cutting the speed limit to 60 mph rather than 70 mph means less acceleration. This means less fuel consumption, and fewer emissions.

Highways England estimates that a 60 mph speed limit on the motorway could cut emissions by as much as 17%.


No doubt this bonkers idea was dreamt up by some wet behind the ears “expert”, who has no real experience of driving.

What happens whenever you hit a 60 mph zone on the motorway? Cars start to concertina together, which inevitably means more stopping and starting.

You don’t need to be a genius to understand that this increases fuel consumption, not to matter dust from brakes.

Question – where are the AA and RAC, who should be sticking up for drivers’ rights?


November 26, 2020 at 01:27PM

One thought on “Motorway speed limits cut to 60 mph in bid to reduce carbon emissions”

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