Britain’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government is desperately seeking to boost economic growth after bringing in tough austerity measures to tackle a record national deficit.
Hammond added in an interview with The Times newspaper on Friday that with many drivers in Britain routinely driving at 80 mph the current law was undermining the notion of policing by consent.
“If 50% of the population are routinely breaking the law it’s actually the law that needs looking at,” he said.
The current limit was set in 1965.
Road safety groups and environmentalists are criticizing the plans.
According to the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Transport Safety, another campaign group, raising the limit to 80mph would increase motorway casualties by between 5 and 10 per cent.
Britain’s speed limits are lower than many other countries in Europe, with France and Italy both imposing a maximum of 81mph, while some roads in Germany have no restriction at all.