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Motorists want 50mph roadworks speed limit increased, research reveals

Six out of 10 motorists hate delays as a result of roadworks and believe the 50mph limit should be increased - but maintenance workers disagree.

Of the 143 highway maintenance workers surveyed, eight out of 10 think motorists should “stop complaining” according to Chapter 8 Shop results.

The top four excuses from the 694 motorists surveyed for increasing the 50mph roadwork limit:

  1. Not having to leave earlier to compensate for the extra travel time
  2. The congestion caused is too stressful
  3. Lorries ignore it and end up passing me, which is frustrating
  4. I hardly ever see anyone working

Road worker Les Bramwell was left with serious injuries in April 2016 and believes that if the speed limit was any higher, he could have lost his life.

He said: “I want to highlight the dangers of our job. Something that should have been a routine task had a serious impact on my life, and that’s why it’s so important that we educate motorists about the dangers of the work we do day in, day out.”

Two examples of why highway maintenance workers want to keep the 50mph speed restriction in-place:

  1. A car lost control in poor driving conditions and nearly hit two road workers at approximately 42mph. Luckily, they were able to jump out of the way. If the car was driving any faster, it is likely that the workers would not have had time to move.
  2. In an attempt to beat traffic, an impatient motorist tried driving through a coned off area near an exit slip road. Whilst moving into the restricted area they hit a road worker causing minor injuries.

They were originally travelling with the flow of traffic at 50mph and the official report states they entered the cordoned off area at this speed.

Any faster and it could’ve resulted in more serious injuries for the innocent worker.

Highways England’s regional director for the midlands Catherine Brookes said: “Nobody needs a road so badly that somebody needs to lose their life while maintaining or improving it. It is simply unacceptable that people run the risk of being killed or seriously injured while doing their job.”

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  • Rosco7010 - 23/05/2018 13:58

    I am fine with a restricted 50mph or even 40mph in some conditions, based on a proper risk assessment so long as it is essential and managed appropriately. The highways workers would be at significantly lower risk if the length of roadworks was shortened. Currently the UK has a number of 20 mile long sections of motorway restrictions that are extremely dangerous for the following reasons: 1. Drivers needing to concentrate on keeping within narrow lanes for 30 mins is going to lead and has lead to accidents. 2. For every meter of additional road without a hard shoulder, increases the chances a single breakdown will cause either an accident or extensive delays. The M1 in Northamptonshire was plagued by daily delays for 5 years, simply because any vehicle issue effectively closed the carriageway. 3. Roadworks seem to be designed for the convenience of the contracting company, the customer (driver, owner) is not considered, and safety is used as an excuse. 4. Remove the unnecessary additional 1-2 mile restriction after the roadworks stop. 200yds would be sufficient on a dual carriageway or motorway. As the driver can see there risk has gone, there is a differential increase back to speed. This leads to conflicts. 5. Stop HGV's from using lanes 2 and 3 when the lane width is reduced. It effectively means a minute lane deviation will lead to a collision. 6. Trial setting the speed limit to 56mph. This slight increase will put the flow of traffic at the same speed as HGV's, who often ignore the 50mph limit and get frustrated by cars adhering to it. I have a lot of sympathy for roadworkers doing a difficult job. And it would seem that the best advice would be to limit the time the worker is in the at risk location. However, anecdotally, that isn't how it seems to be managed. But it seems that road workers and the contractors have little sympathy for the affect their roadworks have on people who need to travel on the roads. Without vehicles and their drivers, there would be no need for roadworks.

  • John4870 - 11/09/2018 12:19

    They have no chance!

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