Britain has some of the safest roads in Europe, and within that motorways are by far the safest, but opponents of the plans (such as Brake) say the increased limit will lead to an increase in casualties.

Ministers will debate whether an 80mph limit should only be applied during the day but while certain roads could remain restricted to 70mph and lower variable limits, the changes may be implemented within months.

Travelling at 80mph? A change in the motorway speed limit could be made law within months

The UK speed limit is lower than much of Continental Europe, and far below speeds on German Autobahns where many (but far from all) sections are unrestricted.

The latest push for an 80mph limit comes nearly 50 years after the Government imposed an 'experimental' 70mph speed limit on Britain's first motorway - the M1 - following unofficial high speed testing of AC Daytona Cobras destined for Le Mans.