Speed limits on four mototways will be cut to 60mph at the end of this month as part of a new trial by Highways England to help reduce pollution.
The speed will be changed on stretches of almost five miles in areas that have seen higher than recommended levels of nitrogen dioxide. NO2 is know to aggravate the airways in the human respiratory system and is said to be linked to 40,000 premature deaths a year.
Motorways chosen for the new trial areM6 junctions 6 to 7 by Witton, M1 junctions 33 to 34 by Rotherham, M602 junctions 1 to 3 by Eccles and M5 1 to 2 by Oldbury.
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.” Highways England said the trial will be reviewed after a year.