The Chamber of Commerce for Derbyshire, Notts and Leicestershire have expressed their delight after plans to enforce a 60mph speed limit on a stretch of the M1 through Derbyshire was ruled out.
The Highways Agency launched a public consultation in January into plans to introduce a 60mph speed limit between junctions 28 and 31 and from junctions 32 to 35a in a bid to reduce air pollution.
But Mr Patrick McLoughlin said today the change will not happen.
Chris Hobson, the Chamber’s Head of Information and Representation, said: “We’re delighted that the Transport Secretary has blocked these proposals. There was an overwhelming response from local firms to the consultation and the majority of them said it would have had a detrimental impact on their business, so it is good to see their views have been heeded.
“Smart motorway systems can introduce variable speed limits when required, so should be left to do their job. There was absolutely no justification for a mandatory reduced speed restriction on this stretch of the M1.
“The danger of implementing this proposal would have been that it would have sent out a clear message that this region is not open for business, which could not be more wrong.”
Mr McLoughlin added: “Let me be absolutely clear, I want all motorways to run at 70mph. While it sometimes makes sense to use variable limits to keep people moving, blanket reductions are not acceptable.”