CONSTRUCTION workers’ leaders have slammed government plans to up the speed limit while driving through motorway roadworks from 50 to 60mph.
Their union Ucatt warned yesterday that the increase would put motorway maintenance workers’ lives at even greater risk than they are now.
A 60mph limit is now on trial through roadworks on the M1.
Motorists’ organisations have been lobbying for the increase and the government has responded.
However, Ucatt said British drivers are already “notorious for violating coned areas, putting motorway maintenance staff at risk of injury or death.”
The union said maintenance staff “work in a highly dangerous environment with several fatalities a year, particularly at night, when drivers suffering from tiredness or drink, or while using their phones while driving, routinely plough through and into coned areas containing workers.”
Ucatt acting general secretary Brian Rye said: “What the government is proposing is a deadly version of Wacky Races.
“The average motorist is not capable of driving safely through coned areas at high speed.
“Anyone with a passing knowledge of this dangerous work environment knows that the British motorist routinely smashes through coned areas due to driving incompetence — and when they do this, our members’ lives are at risk.
“If they do this at an even faster speed, workers will die. These proposals will make a dangerous working area twice as dangerous.”
He described any driver who ignores roadwork speed limits as “a potential killer of road maintenance workers.”