Roads roundup

Plans to impose a 60mph speed limit on parts of the M3 and M1 motorways to cut air pollution have been put on hold. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has given the Highways Agency 18 months to devise alternative methods to tackle pollution on a 50km stretch of the M1 in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire and 4.5km of the M3 in Surrey. If none can be found a 60mph limit could still be imposed at peak times.

Balfour Beatty has today been appointed by the Highways Agency for the £35M dualling and improvement scheme to the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury in Kent. The scheme will deliver a 4km of dual carriageway on the main road link between London and Hastings, together with associated junction and road layout improvements, including two underpasses and an overbridge. Advance work is expected to start this autumn with main construction starting in spring 2015.

Former Heathrow Airport chief executive Colin Matthews has been appointed as non-executive chairman of the Highways Agency. Matthews spent six years at BAA which was renamed as Heathrow Airport Holdings in 2012. He will take over the post of HA chair from Alan Cook in September and be paid 130,000 for a minimum 78 days work a year

Welsh transport minister Edwina Hart is standing by the decision to invest £1bn in new motorway to the south of Newport given the go ahead last week, despite opposition from members of the cross party environment committee.