The basic speed limit at which motorists can drive through roadworks has been raised from 50mph to 60mph, Highways England has announced.
The move came after Highways England conducted road trials in various scenarios, and gathered road user and roadworker feedback. It also undertook comprehensive risk assessments.
The change was prompted by feedback from road users who said they were frustrated at not being able to go quicker.
Some road projects, which trialled the 60mph limit during an eight- or 10-week period over the last 18 months, were confident with how the increased speed limit was operating so rolled it out further within the roadworks or kept it on until the work completed.
On the M1 between junctions 13 to 16 in Northamptonshire, the M6 between junctions 13 to 15 in Staffordshire, and on the M4 between junctions 3 to 12 near Reading, the 60mph is still in use as work continues to upgrade the road.
Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England chief executive, said: “All of our research shows that road users benefit from 60mph limits in roadworks. They have shorter journey times and feel safe.
“Road users understand that roadworks are necessary, but they are frustrated by them. So testing 60mph has been about challenging the norm while ensuring the safety of our people working out there and those using our roads.
“We have a huge programme of work planned, so being able to use 60mph where safe will continue to improve everybody’s experience of our roads.”