Comments made by the transport minister at the Conservative Party conference suggest that the Government has not ruled out the possibility of an 80mph speed limit, and hint at differences of opinion within the DfT.
Stephen Hammond’s comments came at a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, where he said 80mph limit should be "revisited", according to an article in Auto Express.
The idea of an 80mph limit was originally raised in 2011 by Philip Hammond (then transport secretary), before the current secretary Patrick McLoughlin ruled out the prospect earlier this year.
Speaking at the fringe meeting, Stephen Hammond said: “Mr (Philip) Hammond is a great supporter of 80 miles per hour. He thinks it’s the right thing to do.
"That’s not a universal view among my colleagues and at the moment, because there are a huge number of other things on, we have not stopped work on it, but it’s not a priority.
“Given that a lot of people travel at 80mph and we could enforce 80mph, at some stage we will want to come back and look at it."
The Telegraph says the Government had abandoned the idea in June 2013 amid fears the change would alienate women voters.
The Telegraph points out that Britain’s speed limits are lower than many other countries in Europe; France and Italy both impose a maximum of 81mph, while Germany has no restriction at all. It also says that “half of all motorway drivers currently break the 70mph limit, according to recent studies”.