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Reaction: Highways Agency misleads public over hard-shoulder running benefits

15 October 2008
In response to news that the speed limit on the hard-shoulder running section of the M42 near Birmingham is to be increased to 60mph tomorrow (16 October), Campaign for Better Transport’s roads and climate campaigner Richard George said:

“These claims by the Highways Agency into the benefits of hard-shoulder running are incorrect and as muddled as the rest of their transport policy. The Government’s own evidence shows that hard-shoulder running at 60mph increases CO2 emissions.”

Notes to editors

The press release from the Highways Agency (“Increased speed limit for hard shoulder running on M42”) claims that “fuel consumption reduced by 4% and vehicle emissions fell by up to 10%.” However these benefits were obtained during last year’s trial on the M42, which ran at 50mph.

A subsequent feasibility study by the Government revealed that 60mph did not reduce vehicle emissions, but actually increased them.