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Proposal for 60mph Limit on Part of M3 - J2 to 4A


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Rejected by Transport Secretary see e-mail received today:-


"I would like to draw your attention to the announcement made on 8th July 2014 that construction will now start on smart motorway scheme on the M3 junction 2-4a in Surrey.


This is a smart motorway scheme to convert the hard shoulder to a running lane to boost capacity by a third and improve journey times by up to 15 per cent, where average speeds are currently 45mph during rush-hour. The national speed limit on these sections will remain at 70 mph.


The Highways Agency previously consulted on proposals to limit speeds to 60mph between 7am and 7pm seven days a week because of the potential effect of the new schemes on local air quality. However, the Transport Secretary has rejected this approach as the Government’s preferred option and has asked the Highways Agency to rigorously investigate alternatives as work progresses on the schemes in the next 12-18 months. If any proposals continue to include varying speed limits, they must only apply when absolutely necessary. In particular, the Agency must look for alternatives that maintain the 70mph limit wherever possible, particularly when traffic tends to be lighter, such as at weekends and outside of peak commuting hours.


These schemes will be constructed as quickly as possible to reduce the impact on those who use the motorways and live near them. Drivers should see an improvement in their journeys when the M3 scheme opens to traffic in 2016.


Should you have any specific enquiries, please contact the Highways Agency Project Manager Pranav Devale at:



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Standby by the way for more "Smart Motorways" (215 Miles to be precise) including all of the M25 and M1 M6 to Manchester. This expansion will come as part of a major investment in the UK Strategic Road Network as part of the transition of the Highways Agency into a GoCo (Government Company similar to Network Rail).


There was a huge internal promotion by the HA/DfT of a "Mile a Minute" network, i.e. 60 mph, but I have been in some recent meetings where this seems to have been dropped so this release verifies this. Too much political backlash I suspect.



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