New Government proposals will see councils given more power to implement 20mph zones in a bid to improve road safety across the UK.
Rural roads with a track record of accidents can expect their current speed limits to be slashed, while low speed zones will be adopted outside schools as part of updated guidance from the Department for Transport.
Ministers hope the national guidance will help create consistent local speed limits across England as well as giving local officials more flexibility when setting the limits.
Around 2,000 schemes are currently in place in England, with statistics claiming 20mph zones can reduce road traffic accidents by as much as 60%.
Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: "Road safety is a top priority and the guidance will help councils make evidence-based decisions to introduce local speed limits that reflect the needs of all road users."
Councils are expected to announce the new speed restrictions on single roads and dual carriageways by the end of the year, although the current speed limits of 30mph on street lit roads, 60mph on single carriageways and 70mph on motorways and dual carriageways will remain unchanged.
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