A new survey has found that many people ‘would feel unsafe’ travelling at the 60mph limit on rural roads.

The study of 1,000 people conducted by Direct Line and Brake, the road safety charity, discovered that only 23 per cent of people thought 60mph was a safe speed on a road where there may be pedestrians, cyclists and horses.

Furthermore, just 19 per cent of drivers were against the idea of reducing the speed limit of rural roads, meaning most motorists would appear to be in favour of such a proposal.

Joshua Harris, director of road safety charity Brake’s campaigns, said: ‘Drivers have made their views clear — travelling at 60 mph on rural roads doesn’t feel safe to them, and the majority would support or not object to the limit being reduced.

‘The current default limit gives a false impression that 60 mph is a safe speed and this is putting everyone who uses our rural roads at risk.’

The charity also states that on average 17 people are killed or seriously injured on rural single-carriage-way roads every day and that these kinds of roads claim roughly four in 10 lives taken by Britain’s roads.

Steve Barrett, the head of Direct Line Car Insurance, said: ‘Speed and rural roads can be a deadly combination. However, a speed limit is not a target that must be attained and people should drive to the conditions of the road.

‘Rural roads have many challenges for all those that use them and speed can exacerbate this, both in terms of stopping distances and reaction times.’