To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what procedures are in force at the Highways Agency to ensure that no one person can impose a variable speed limit that is too low for the traffic conditions pertaining at the time; how and when such procedures are reviewed to ensure low speed limits do not remain in place longer than they need to; and if he will make a statement.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, who at the Highways Agency, under whose authority, determines when to utilise variable speed limits; what mechanisms are in place to ensure that these speed limits are regularly reviewed so that they correspond to the needs of live traffic; and if he will make a statement.
The Traffic Officer Manual provides detailed guidance to control room operators on the correct procedures for setting variable speed limits. Supervisory staff in the Highways Agency regional control centres are responsible for ensuring that a constant overview is maintained of the network conditions - and appropriateness of variable speeds - relevant to safety and smooth traffic flow. Variable speed limits are set in response to conditions on the road and are only used when necessary.