Motorway roadworks speed limits could be increased on Sundays

Drivers could be allowed to go faster through motorway roadworks on Sundays, when the roads are less busy. Pic: Tim Ockenden/PA Wire.
Drivers could be allowed to go faster through motorway roadworks on Sundays, when the roads are less busy. Pic: Tim Ockenden/PA Wire.

Drivers could be allowed to go faster through motorway roadworks - depending on what day of the week it is.

Speed limits could be increased from 50mph to 60mph when there is less activity by road workers, Highways England announced.

This could see limits increased on Sundays compared with other days.

Highways England, the Government-owned company responsible for managing England's motorways and A roads, said its plans were aimed at reducing drivers' frustrations over roadworks.

Varying speed limits could also be used within one set of roadworks, meaning higher speeds are allowed when vehicles are further away from road workers.

Speed limits of 50mph are common when narrow lanes are installed on motorways during roadworks.

Tests will be carried out to see if varying speed limits could be introduced without increasing risks for motorists or staff.

Highways England figures show there are nearly 300 incidents a week of drivers entering coned-off areas or subjecting road workers to physical or verbal abuse on motorways of major A roads.

The company's chief executive Jim O'Sullivan said: "People understand roadworks are necessary but are also frustrated by them.

"At the same time we have to ensure as they drive through them that they, and our road workers, are safe.

"So we are always thinking of new ways to improve journeys at the same time as keeping everyone as safe as we can.

"That is why over the next 12 months we will test changes to the design and operation of roadworks."