M1: Speed limit reduction will harm businesses and commuters

Reducing the speed limit on a stretch of the M1 the East Midlands and South Yorkshire would have a negative impact on businesses, according to industry leaders.

A stretch of the M1 motorway in South Yorkshire
A stretch of the M1 motorway in South Yorkshire

Derbyshire, Notts and Leicestershire Chambers of Commerce have hit out at the proposals by the Highways Agency to implement a maximum mandatory speed limit of 60mph between junction 28 at Mansfield and junction 35a at Sheffield and Rotherham.

The new restrictions would apply from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week in a bid to cut air pollution.

A consultation into the proposals has begun and runs until 3rd March.

Chris Hobson, head of information and representation, said: “The chamber has yet to be convinced that reducing the speed limit on the M1 between J28 and J35a to 60mph would achieve what is being claimed.”

“We have concerns that reducing the speed limit would negatively impact on businesses in the area. It would impact on commuters and overall journey times not just for the 34 miles between those junctions but also through Nottingham where variable speed limits already exist.”

“Logistics operators, hauliers, distributors and public transport operators would all have to factor in longer journey times, which would increase costs.”

He added that the chamber will ensure its members get the opportunity to take part in the consultation and make their views known.