Is There a Minimum Speed On the Motorway?
I regularly tow a trailer with a race car on it and only travel at a maximum of 50 mph on motorways (as I feel comfortable doing this speed). A friend follows us with all of the tools etc. in his car.
My question - is there a minimum speed limit on motorways for me towing and for my friend following. He is concerned that he could be prosecuted for traveling too slowly even though he is our 'support vehicle'.
At present in the UK, there is no legislation for minimum speeds on UK motorways. Although there has been calls for years to set a minimum speed limit, the practicalities of doing so means that at present there is still no specific minimum speed. In general, road works, variable speed control and flow of traffic can all affect the minimum speed on a motorway so setting a minimum speed can be problematic. In some countries they do set a minimum speed however and it seems to work effectively. The Republic of Ireland has a minimum speed of 30 mph on motorways, but generally in the UK, minimum speeds are temporary and are usually highlighted by circular road signs.
In some cases, there have been individuals who have received fines for driving too slow on the motorway, although these are extremely rare. Generally, to be fined for driving too slowly on the motorway, you need to be causing some kind of an issue for other drivers around you. In the case that you've outlined, where your friend is the support vehicle for you, it's unlikely that you would be fined for driving at around 50 mph.
If you do need to drive on the motorway at a speed which is deemed to be a hazard to others, try and find alternative routes if possible. If you must take a motorway, stay to the inside lane and let others pass without issue. If you should be pulled over by the police, remain calm and explain to them that you are on the motorway out of necessity and your friend is integral to your successful journey. You shouldn't have any problem if you're going around 50 mph anyway as there legally are no minimum speeds on motorways in the UK unless signed otherwise.
If you're at all concerned about getting a fine, speak to the Department of Transport and ask for their advice or alternatively speak to your local police station and explain the situation to them. They will be able to provide you with advice on your personal set of circumstances, but overall, don't feel too concerned about being fined. You're not breaking the law by doing 50 mph on the motorway.