Road safety minister Stephen Hammond says 80mph motorway speed limit trials could take place next year.
Three test sites have been proposed and if the trials are successful the higher speed limit will then be introduced across the country. The trials could go ahead as early as summer 2014.
Speaking to Auto Express magazine, Hammond said: “It is not dead. We are thinking about it. We are thinking about how we could trial it rather than go to a consultation. It would be important to have a good evidence-based trial.”
An announcement is expected in the autumn.
“You probably will not see it happen before the summer of next year,” added Hammond. “It might need a year to put the whole regulatory format in place.
“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.
“Drivers will have noticed that we have made some significant changes to guidelines to local authorities about lower speeds in rural areas. We have also made it easier to introduce 20mph limits and zones.”