Brake has welcomed news reported in The Financial Times that transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin is resolved to cancel proposals for 80mph motorways, although an official announcement may not be made until later in the year.
However, the Department for Transport has said it will be going ahead with trials nonetheless, to which Brake is opposed.
Brake is part of the NO to 80 coalition, which opposes government proposals to increase speed limits to 80mph on motorways, arguing that it will result in more violent deaths and injuries on roads, increased carbon emissions and an increased financial burden on the public, the NHS and emergency services.
Instead Brake is urging the government to invest in more variable speed limits on motorways, with a top speed of 70mph, as this is a proven way to reduce crashes and casualties at the same time as reducing congestion.
Ellen Booth, senior campaigns officer, Brake, the road safety charity, said: "We welcome this indication that plans for 80mph limits will be ditched, and congratulate the Transport Secretary for the strength of this commitment to road safety. However, we'd like him to go further, by putting the brakes on any trials for 80mph. The evidence is there that 80mph limits would mean more violent deaths and injuries, so even a trial could lead to more families suffering the horror of a serious crash. Going ahead with trials would be a waste of money, given the weight of evidence that 80mph motorways would not deliver the benefits the previous transport secretary expected, and would instead mean increased casualties, costs and carbon emissions. Instead we would like to see commitment from government to invest in more variable speed limits on motorways, with the maximum remaining at 70mph, as this a proven way to reduce casualties while improving traffic flow."