The speed limits near roadworks are set to rise with Highways England considering upping the speed limit near motorway roadworks to 60mph.

To do this, they are testing varying speed limits and assessing the safety that these can be used by roadworks. They will also be ensuring that these limits will not further endanger road workers or drivers either. These limits are due to be tested Sunday if there is less work going on. These will then come down again to 50mph when road workers are a few feet away.

Not only that, but they are also looking to see whether different speed limits could actually work within one roadwork site. If proven to still be safe, this could be great for commuters who have to travel by road workers to and from work.

The Chief Executive of Highways England shared his thoughts. He described: “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.”

The exact locations of these tests are still set to be agreed.

But, while we know this could be great for commuters, what about the road workers? Are they safe?

Reports are regularly coming in about road workers hit by moving vehicles whilst on a job. Just last month, there was a report about a road worker who was hit by a 15 tonne lorry whilst working. According to the report, the worker was on the night shift when he was hit. Suffering serious injuries, he unfortunately died at the scene.

However, there are a variety of new techniques being looked into in order to help improve the safety of road work. One of which is robo-cones. These robotic cones would be able to travel along the road to their desired placement. Then, once work is finished, travel back. This would mean that dangers would be reduced for road workers who would no longer need to set out into the road to place these cones.

Like the speed limit change, these cones would also be positive for commuters too. This is because specific areas that are being worked on can be coned off, and the rest left free. Take a look at the full report on this here.

But what do you think of this? Could these changes impact the safety of workers? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


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