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Motorway speed limits to be reduced in pollution reduction trial

Speed limits are to be cut on parts of four motorways shortly in a trial to reduce pollution. The limit will be reduced from 70mph to 60mph in areas that have seen higher than recommended levels of nitrogen dioxide, according to Highways England.

The trial will take place on stretches of nearly five miles. It will be on the M6 junctions 6 to 7 near Witton, M1 junctions 33 at 34 by Rotherham, M602 junctions 1 to 3 near Eccles and M5 1 to 2 in Birmingham. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) released from car exhausts is a serious air pollutant and indirectly contributes to the warming of the planet. The impact of the new 60mph limit will be reviewed in a year’s time.

Ivan Le Fevre, head of environment at Highways England said: “Ultimately the air quality challenge will be solved ‘at the tailpipe’ by vehicle manufacturers and changes in vehicle use.

“Until this happens we will continue our extensive programme of pioneering research and solutions.”

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