Higher speed limit on M42 hard shoulder

* Hard shoulder running now up to 60mph * Move should cut congestion at busy times * Plans for hard shoulder use on M1, M6 and M62...

Higher speed limit on M42 hard shoulder

From today, motorists will be allowed to drive on certain sections of the hard shoulder on the M42 at up to 60mph.

The 'active traffic management' scheme had previously allowed a maximum speed of 50mph.

The Government has given the green light to the plans after a study showed that there would be no significant reduction in road safety levels. It was also suggested that the plans could help reduce congestion at busier times of day.

Tom Harris, the Roads Minister, said 'hard shoulder running has proven to be a powerful congestion-tackling tool and we've announced our intention to develop similar schemes on the M1, M6 and M62.

'We don't want to slow motorists unnecessarily,' he added, 'and we will closely monitor the impact of the increased speed limit on both journey times and driver behaviour'.

The increased speed limit will operate on a 2.5mile southbound stretch of the M42 between junctions 4 and 3A.