Director of Consumer Affairs for the AA Conor Faughnan has said the introduction of a process to allow the public to appeal speed limits will give consistency across the road networks.

He told RTÉ’s Six One News that for first the first time ever, motorists will have a role and voice in how speed limits are set.

The measure is one of a number of recommendations by an expert group which have been accepted by the Transport Minister, Leo Varadkar.

Mr Faughnan said motorists will have a right to appeal a speed limit to a local authority who must respond and if it is felt that the response is not satisfactory, the appeal can be escalated to a national appeals body.

Among the recommendations to be adopted is that signs advertising the 80km/h speed limit will be removed from narrow country roads and replaced by the old system of signage which will become known as the "rural speed limit".

Many roads in rural Ireland, often in bad condition, have speed limits of 80km/h, while the top speed on sections of many newer, larger and safer dual carriageways can be as low as 60km/h.

The new rules mean 80km/h signs on small rural roads and laneways will be  replaced by new "rural speed limit" signs.

The new signs will have a black circle with a diagonal line, similar to those used in Ireland before 2004. However, the limit will remain 80km/h.

The Automobile Association has welcomed the measures as a huge step forward.