The government plans to raise the speed limit to 80mph from 70mph in a victory for the transport secretary, Philip Hammond.Or perhaps not ...
Hammond said on Thursday he will launch a consultation later this year with a view to introducing the new limit in 2013.
Hammond is expected to couple the increase with an expansion of 20mph limits in many urban areas.Oxford's 20 limits are ludicrous, and widely ignored.
Besides the safety-obsessed killjoys, Hammond can expect resistance from the eco-loons:
Greenpeace's senior transport campaigner Emma Gibson said: "The Saudi oil minister will rub his hands with glee when he learns of Philip Hammond's decision. At a time when North Sea oil production is going down and we are ever more reliant upon unstable regimes and fragile environments to fuel our cars, the transport secretary's decision will raise oil consumption and carbon emissions when we need to cut both."Personally, I don't have much faith in the Conservative party's instincts, inside the coalition or out. They might not harbour anyone quite as crazy as Huhne, but Lansley is one of their own.
The policy package represents the end of a drawn-out Whitehall battle with Hammond having to fend off the concerns of the climate change secretary, Chris Huhne, and the health secretary, Andrew Lansley.
Huhne fought against it as the 10mph increase will see cars use more fuel and so increase pollution. Lansley's department raised concerns it will see a rise in road casualties. It comes before a conference in which the Tories announce popular policies to remind activists of their own party's instincts outside the coalition.