Highways England is to trial lower speed limits on sections of four motorways in a bid to reduce pollution, it has been reported.
According to BBC News, the speed limit will be reduced from 70mph to 60mph in areas that have seen higher than recommended levels of nitrogen dioxide.
The trial, set to get underway this month, will take place on stretches totalling nearly five miles – on M6 junctions 6 to 7 (by Witton), M1 junctions 33 to 34 (by Rotherham), M602 junctions 1 to 3 (by Eccle)s and M5 1 to 2 (by Oldbury).
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.”
The DfT says the trial is among a number of measures to improve air quality – including plans to end the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans.