THE M50 linking South Wales to the Midlands would be the perfect place to trial a faster speed limit than 70mph, an MP has told Parliament.

North Herefordshire MP Sir Bill Wiggin, who lives near Ross-pn-Wye where the 22-mile long motorway connects with the A40 dual carriageway from Monmouth, said higher speed limits could help people travel to work more quickly and boost productivity.

His comments during a rural transport adjournment debate in the House of Commons come while just across the border, Wales has adopted a 'go slow' policy, with 20mph limits across all built-up residential zones and 50mph restrictions currently on parts of the M4, A40 and A449.  

Sir Bill said: "In order to increase productivity we ought to ensure that people get to work in and around the country faster.

“Increasing speed limits on motorways would help to do this."

As regards safety concerns, he added: “We need to test and trial increased speed limits in line with safer cars and better brakes.

“And I suggest that an excellent place to test this would be the M50. This is the perfect motorway to try to increase the speed limit.

"It is short, safe, and a truly excellent motorway where we could easily monitor the safety of a higher speed limit.”

Transport minister Guy Opperman said: “It is a matter for himself and more particularly his local authority and the National Highways, who govern the strategic road network, to sit down and discuss and then set the speed limits on the individual roads.

“They have the local knowledge and are best placed to do so, but it is something for the local authority to drive forwards with National Highways at the first instance.”

Sir Bill also called for road tax payments to be ring fenced for road maintenance, a Tory Government proposal under then Chancellor George Osborne in 2015, but no longer being pursued.

“As a road taxpayer, I believe that car drivers have every right to expect that their hard-earned money will be used to maintain the infrastructure for which it was levied," the MP said.

“And the mis-spending of this funding means that hypothecation (specific fundraising for a specific purpose) is justified for road tax.

“The Treasury takes money from car drivers to fund over-paid train drivers and an inefficient Network Rail which could have been privatised years ago.

"More money is wasted on bus lanes, cycle paths and not very smart motorways. Yet the wretched potholes escape unrepaired.”