Plans have been revealed to minimise how long roadworks take place across the UK's motorways in a bid to make motoring more pleasant.

The impact of construction and maintenance on traffic may be reduced by raising the speed limit near roadworks, which is currently set at 50mph.

Transport Minister John Hayes has asked Highways England to examine the possibility of limiting coned-off sections of road to 10 miles. Hayes also wants to encourage contraflow – where traffic is permitted to use the opposite carriageway while works are in progress.

The breaking of roadwork speed limits accounts for the majority of speeding fines across the country, which exceeds £3million annually.

Alongside reducing the number of drivers issued with fines, the moves also aims to ease congestion nationwide.

“Improve customer experience”

Hayes told the Daily Telegraph: "Following my discussions with them, Highways England are working towards utilising shorter lengths and looking at whether they can safely increase speed limits through roadworks, which will improve the overall customer experience and minimise disruption.

"Contraflows and reducing lane size can be used to allow for more lanes to be opened during maintenance."

Long-awaited 'smart motorways' are still being constructed across Britain. Four thousand miles of the new roads are being constructed to control traffic flow in real time. So far, however, they have resulted in substantial sections of the country's highways being affected by roadworks.

The worst affected stretches are found on the M1, M6, M11 and M20.

Responding to the transport minister's request, Highways England said a 60mph limit has been established on some M1 roadworks – as a test.