The speed limit on stretches of motorways with roadworks will be increased to 60mph.

The decision to increase the speed limit from 50mph ‘norm’ follows ‘extensive research and trials’ according to the Highways Agency, which is the government-owned firm that looks after major A-roads and motorways.

It says the changes are being made following feedback from road users who said they were frustrated about the restrictions.

The research and trials show that not only will the increase in limit bring time savings for motorists, but also mean more drivers will be likely to stick to the higher speed limit, rather than exceed the 50mph limit like many do currently.

Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England chief executive, said: “All of our research shows that road users benefit from 60mph limits in roadworks. They have shorter journey times and feel safe.

“Road users understand that roadworks are necessary, but they are frustrated by them. So testing 60mph has been about challenging the norm while ensuring the safety of our people working out there and those using our roads

“We have a huge programme of work planned, so being able to use 60mph where safe will continue to improve everybody’s experience of our roads.

Workforce unions had complained in the past, claiming the increase in speed limits would put workers at greater risk. In some areas the limit will remain at 40 or 50mph depending on the work being done.