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Speed limits to increase on some sections of Hwy 403

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The province is increasing the speed limit on the 403 between Brantford and Hamilton, and Woodstock and Brantford.

It’s part of a plan to increase speed limits on ten sections of provincial highway this year. 

"These increases will cover over 36 per cent, a full 860 kilometers, of Ontario's highway network," Prabmeet Sarkaria, Minister of Transportation said at a news conference in Hamilton.

Drivers in Brantford, shared mixed feelings on the plan.

"I think it's fine the way it is and why increase it?" Shirley Robinson said.

"It would be an improvement. Perhaps it would actually get people to slow down, because already they are exceeding the speed limit by at least 20 kilometers an hour. If we raise the speed limit, perhaps people would be more willing to adhere to it," Jennifer Brooks said.

Highways have had faster posted speed limits before. Up until 1975, the 400, 401 and 417, and the Queen Elizabeth Way was posted at 70 miles per hour or 113 kilometers an hour. That was reduced due to the energy crisis.

"Much of Ontario's highway network was originally designed for speed limits of 110 kilometers per hour, or to safely have them with minimal upgrades," Sarkaria said.

Sarkaria said the changes help align Ontario’s speed limits with other provinces.

The speed changes are expected to begin in the summer and complete by the end of the year.

While the 401 through Cambridge is not expected to increase in speed, some drivers in Waterloo think it should.

"I think everyone is already driving at a high speed, at 120 kilometers, usually. So I don't think 110 is going to play a big difference," Mahan Sharifi said. "I think it should be province wide. I don't see an issue with that."

Some residents said it is a good idea and could lead to less tailgating and accidents.

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