New speed limit plans could "deface the countryside", cost drivers around £300 million and distract motorists, the Campaign for Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has said.
Drivers could now see more than one million new speed limit signs in the countryside, as local authorities are encouraged by the Government to consider introducing reduced limits, according to the CPRE.
The environmental campaigning group has said it would prefer to see the national speed limit of rural single carriageway roads reduced to a speed limit of 50mph and allow local authorities the discretion to keep their safest roads at 60mph.
The CPRE added that after the success of the 20mph zones in residential areas they wanted to see a reduction in red tape to make the introduction of these zones cheaper and easier, and wanted to see powers to introduce 40mph zones on minor rural roads.
CPRE senior transport campaigner Ralph Smyth said: "After deciding against a blanket 50mph national speed limit, the Government wants to encourage local authorities to consider introducing lower speed limits locally, which require repeater signs about every 300 yards."
A Department for Transport spokesman said: "It is vital that drivers know what the speed limit is but incorrect to say that this will mean signs every 300 yards."
The Department for Transport also added that they wanted to reduce speed limits on more dangerous roads to reduce speed-related deaths, but they wanted to avoid unnecessarily lowering limits which could delay drivers on safer roads.
© Press Association 2009