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The government’s proposal to raise the speed limit on the motorways of England and Wales to 80mph has been met with a mixed reaction.

The current 70mph limit was introduced in 1965, but transport secretary Philip Hammond’s argument is that huge advances in safety and motoring technology have rendered this limit obsolete.

The consultation will begin this year and a revised limit could be brought in as soon as 2013 if it is deemed necessary. The motorway increase is expected to go hand-in-hand with a rise in the number of 20mph zones in many towns and cities.

Confirmation of the consultation was due to be announced at the Conservative Party conference this weekend, but was brought forward after it leaked out early.

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Missed the original story? Read about the proposed changes to the motorway speed limit.

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