Motorway speed limit could be cut from 70mph to 60mph

Government is proposing measure to reduce emissions

Updated: 
Traffic on the British motorway M25 in a sunset time.

The government is proposing a number of measures to tackle air pollution in the UK, including changing the speed limit on motorways from 70mph to 60mph.

Officials say that vehicles emit more harmful emissions when cars travel at higher speeds and have proposed the 10mph cut on badly-polluted stretches of motorway.

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Pollution taxes could also be imposed on diesel cars under the plans.

The proposal states: "There may be potential to improve air quality by lowering speed limits.

"The speed limits option would seek to tackle lengths of motorway experiencing poor levels of air quality.

"For this option, the effect of reducing the motorway speed limit from 70 to 60mph has been simulated by modelling a reduction in the average speed (by 10mph) of affected vehicles."

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Andrea Ledsom, commented: "Improving air quality is a key priority. Our plan today sets out how we will just do that - including presenting options for target diesel scrappage schemes."

Meanwhile, three-quarters of drivers think the motorway speed limit should be raised to 80mph.

According to the Daily Mail, a survey by Green Flag found that 21 per cent of motorists believe that the new speeding fines that came into force recently will have little effect on driving habits.

The main reason for this, 73 per cent say, is that there is lack of funding to enforce the new rules.

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