UK motorway roadworks could be reduced to ease motorist stress

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The length of roadworks on Britain's motorways could be reduced along with changing temporary speed limits in an attempt to ease motorists' misery.

The standard 50mph speed limit could be raised in a bid to minimise the impact on traffic.

Transport minister John Hayes is the man behind the move. He has told Highways England to look into reducing the maximum length a section of road can be coned off to 10 miles. He also said the use of contraflows, where traffic is diverted to the opposite carriageway, should be encouraged.

Government figures show that £3million worth of fines are issued every year to drivers caught going too quickly in average speed camera zones. The majority of these come from 50mph limits imposed during roadworks.

The idea behind the changes is to ease congestion and attempt to reduce the number of drivers issued with fines.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Hayes said: "Following my discussions with them, Highways England are working towards utilising shorter lengths and looking at whether they can safely increase speed limits through roadworks, which will improve the overall customer experience and minimise disruption.

"Contraflows and reducing lane size can be used to allow for more lanes to be opened during maintenance."

Four thousand miles of 'smart motorways' are currently under construction in the UK. They are designed to control traffic flow in real time, but have caused long sections of roadworks on the M1, M6, M11 and M20.

In response to Hayes' request, Highways England is testing a 60mph limit in some sections of roadworks on the M1.