Drivers could do 60mph through roadworks on A14 and A12 in Suffolk and Essex

Delays caused by roadwork speed limits, including on the A14, could be reduced under plans being con

Delays caused by roadwork speed limits, including on the A14, could be reduced under plans being considered by Highways England Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Speed limits through roadworks on the A14 and A12 could be increased under new plans aimed to ease drivers’ frustration with delays.

Highways England is considering new plans to increase the limit on motorways and major ‘A’ routes to 50, 55 of 60mph, following feedback from drivers.

The varying limits would apply depending on what day of the week it is, with increased speeds allowed during quieter times.

It would mean the major delays experienced by drivers travelling through the upgraded section of the A14 near to Cambridge, could be reduced.

Other Highways England projects, such as the A12 improvements in Essex, could also proceed with fewer delays, it is hoped.

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Following earlier trials, Highways England said it would test whether varying limits could operate safely, without increasing risks to drivers or road workers.

It is also exploring whether different speed limits could operate within one set of roadworks.

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This could mean people commute to work on one carriageway at 50mph as they are nearer the workforce, but drive home on the other carriageway at 60mph as the road workers are further away.

Highways England 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.

“We are also working hard to give drivers more and better information about their journeys and to prepare our network for the future, for example the testing of roadside and vehicle technology, so we can continue to keep people, and the country, connected.”

Currently Highways England operates a 50mph limit in narrow lanes through roadworks but this year they will test whether it is safe to operate at 60mph in certain circumstances.

Locations for the trials are yet to be agreed. Once underway Highways England will monitor the speed of vehicles, flow of traffic, look at incident data and gather customer feedback to determine its success.

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