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The speed limit will be lowered to 60 mph in regions with higher levels of nitrogen dioxide

Highways England said the speed limit will be cut on sections of four highways before October in an effort to curb pollution.

It will be reduced from 70 mph to 60 mph in areas that have seen levels above the recommended levels of nitrogen dioxide.

The trial will take place at a distance of approximately five miles.

It will be at M6 junctions 6 through 7 by Witton, M1 junctions 33 through 34 by Rotherham, M602 junctions 1 through 3 by Eccles and M5 1 through 2 by Oldbury.

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) Car exhaust is a dangerous air pollutant and indirectly contributes to global warming.

The impact of the new 60 MPH limit will be reviewed within a year

Ultimately the air quality challenge will be resolved ‘in the tailpipe’ by vehicle manufacturers and changes in vehicle use, said Evan Le Vivre, Chief Environment Officer at Highways England.

“Until this happens, we will continue our extensive program of research and pioneering solutions.”

Hybrids

The Ministry of Transport said that the experiment was among a number of measures to improve air quality.

As part of a plan to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels, the government aims to end the sale of all new conventional gasoline and diesel cars and trucks before 2040.

It has been consulted about introducing this to 2035, or earlier if a faster transition seems possible, plus considering including hybrids for the first time.

The results of the consultation will be announced at a later time.

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