Pensioner fights Sheffield M1 speeding fine over air quality claims

Motorist says she is appealing on principle to support other drivers
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A pensioner is fighting an ‘air quality’ speeding fine from the M1 in Sheffield arguing there is no evidence the lower limit cuts pollution.

M1 gantries in Sheffield say the 60mph limit is 'for air quality'M1 gantries in Sheffield say the 60mph limit is 'for air quality'
M1 gantries in Sheffield say the 60mph limit is 'for air quality'

Jill Matthews, aged 67, is set to appear at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court after being snapped doing 69mph in a 60 zone on the M1 near Meadowhall in a Mercedes SUV.

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National Highways said it reintroduced the 60mph speed limit, between Junctions 33 and 34, in summer 2021 following the removal of lockdown restrictions. 

The area, which includes residential Tinsley, is notorious for filthy air. It is one of several sections of UK motorways trialling speed restrictions to reduce emissions and improve air quality.

Ms Matthews, of Worksop, said she was appealing "on principle" to support all car drivers

She added: “I am appealing to end the unlawful 24-hour cash cow for air quality speed limit, which is a nonsense, because there is no evidence that it improves ‘air quality’. All cars are emission tested for annual MOT.”

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A National Highways spokesman said enforcement was a matter for the police..

He added: “We are trialling 60mph speed limits on short sections of our network where action needs to be taken to reduce emissions and improve air quality. Based on the findings for our research programme we expect there will be a reduction in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) when traffic is reduced from 70 to 60mph in these locations.  

“We will monitor this trial and if proven successful, the speed limit will remain in place until the area is compliant. We'll keep 60mph speed limits introduced specifically for air quality until monitoring shows that we can remove them. At this point, we'll reinstate the national speed limit.”

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