Motorway speed limits could be raised to 80mph and limits on city and town roads may be reduced, reports The Independent.
According to the report in The Independent, the decision on restrictions would be made as much on cost as on safety. Philip Hammond, the transport secretary, said that decisive factors could include the economic benefits of faster travel as well as environmental concerns.
Mr Hammond said: "We need to do this on a pretty rigorous cost-benefit analysis basis. At the moment there are a clear set of criteria for making these decisions. Perhaps we ought to ask if we are using the right set of criteria."
Mr Hammond went on to suggest that in some towns speed limits could be reduced from 30mph to 20mph, on both environmental and safety grounds.
Britain’s 70mph motorway speed limit has been in force since 1965. In France and Italy the maximum speed is 81mph while in Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Belgium it is 75mph.
The news comes after it was revealed last week that drivers intend to reduce their speeds to cut fuel consumption. According to an AA/Populous survey 49% of AA members intend to drive more economically as a direct cause of rising fuel prices.
In a DfT poll, however, respondents were even more likely to change their behavior – 59% said they intend to reduce their speed on motorways, in order to cut fuel consumption. The figure rises to 65% among female drivers.
Click here to read the full The Independent report.
Click here to read the full AA report.