Raising the motorway limit to 80mph is still on the Government’s agenda, Stephen Hammond, transport minister, has confirmed in an exclusive interview with Auto Express.
Mr Hammond said there would be a major announcement later this year on the prospect of an increase.
The move was strongly backed by Philip Hammond, former transport secretary, but appeared to have fallen down the DfT’s list of priorities under Patrick McLoughlin, current transport secretary.
But Stephen Hammond told Auto Express: “It is not dead. We are thinking about it; we are thinking about how we could trial it rather than go to a consultation.
“I think it would be important to have a good evidence-based trial. We are still working on that and I suspect that we are going to be able to say something on that in the autumn.”
Mr Hammond said this could mean trials taking place during 2014.
He continued: “If we are realistic, you probably will not see it happen before the summer of next year. It might need a whole year to put the whole regulatory format in place.
“What we want to do is choose the two or three areas where we trial it fairly carefully. My message, though, is that it [80mph] has not been lost.
“Our philosophy is that we should have the right speed on the right road.”