110 km/h speed limits now permanent on six Ontario highway sections
Posted April 22, 2022 6:47 am.
Last Updated April 22, 2022 7:51 am.
Speed limits on a number of Ontario highways are now increased on a permanent basis.
As of Friday, six stretches of highway in the province are seeing their speeds raised to 110 kilometres per hour for good — including one stretch of Highway 404 in the Greater Toronto Area.
The increased speeds on five stretches of the 400-series highways were first put into place when the province launched a pilot project in 2019 to test the speeds on a trial basis. Although it was not part of the original pilot, the stretch of the 404 from Newmarket north to Woodbine Avenue is also seeing its speed limit permanently increased.
Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney announced last month that the higher speeds would be made permanent. She says the sections of highway were carefully selected based on their ability to accommodate the increased speeds.
“We chose these sections based on their infrastructure and their design as those (are) sections that can best accommodate these increased speeds,” Mulroney said on March 29.
Six sections of Ontario highways where 110 km/h speed limits will be made permanent:
- Queen Elizabeth Way – from Hamilton to St. Catharines
- Highway 401 – from Windsor to Tilbury
- Highway 402 – from London to Sarnia
- Highway 404 – Newmarket to Woodbine
- Highway 417 – from Ottawa to the Quebec border
- Highway 417 – Kanata to Arnpior
Two sections of provincial highways in cottage country will also see their speed limits increased on a trial basis. The province will boost speeds to 110 kilometres per hour on Highway 400 from Mactier to Nobel and on Highway 11 from Emsdale to South River.
The province says there hasn’t been a bump in accidents during the pilot period. Mulroney explained, “…there was no impact, no increase in collisions so we believe that what we’re doing is responsible, we can increase speed limits in a safe manner.”
“We will certainly explore extending it to other sections of highways across the province”, she said.
The pilot project included public consultations on the effect of the new speed limits and the province says the majority of respondents were in support of the increased speeds. As part of the project, the Ministry of Transportation posted enhanced signs and safety messaging on the designated routes.
Recent transportation announcements from the Ford government
The decision to make the new speed limits permanent follows a string of transportation from the Ford government leading up to the provincial election in June.
Last month, the province announced a 30-year plan for public transit and highway expansions across the Greater Toronto Area and Golden Horseshoe, with plans to spend $82 billion in the next decade.
As part of the plan the province intends to complete the controversial Highway 413 and Bradford Bypass. The proposed highways have received their share of criticism with detractors claiming the new routes will have significant environmental impact without saving much time for drivers. The province also intends to widen bottlenecks on Highways 400, 401, 403 and the QEW.
The proposed highways have received their share of criticism with detractors claiming the new routes will have significant environmental impact without saving much time for drivers.
Earlier this month, the Ford government removed tolls on Highways 412 and 418 in Durham Region.
In February, Ford confirmed his government would scrap licence plate renewal fees and stickers and offer refunds for eligible Ontario drivers. The move took effect on March 13.
With files from The Canadian Press