Liz Truss signals she will BAN smart motorways if she becomes next PM

Liz Truss signals she will BAN smart motorways if she becomes Britain’s next Prime Minister after string of deaths

  • The Foreign Secretary said her government would review smart road schemes
  • In January, Grant Shapps ordered 100 miles of smart motorway’s to be paused 
  • Roads without a hard shoulder are three times more lethal to break down on
  • There were 53 deaths on smart motorways in the four years to 2019

Liz Truss last night pledged to examine whether motorway speed limits should be scrapped if she becomes prime minister.

The Foreign Secretary said she would ‘look into’ the radical proposal – and signalled she would ban smart motorways.

She said her government would review smart road schemes in answer to a question at the final Tory leadership hustings at Wembley Arena in London.

Liz Truss last night pledged to examine whether motorway speed limits should be scrapped if she becomes prime minister

She said her government would review smart road schemes in answer to a question at the final Tory leadership hustings at Wembley Arena in London

Frost in talks to be MP 

Lord Frost is in talks with local Conservative associations about standing as an MP.

The former Brexit minister revealed that he has spent several months discussing where in the country he could run as a parliamentary candidate.

In an interview with The House magazine, he suggested he would seek to quit the Lords for the Commons if appointed to the next prime minister’s Cabinet. ‘I don’t think our system works very well for prolonged periods of time when a senior minister is not in the elected house,’ he said. ‘It’s fundamental fairness… that’s how the constitution works.’

But he added that he was ‘still making my mind up’ about the move. Lord Frost, who is backing Liz Truss in the Tory leadership contest, led the UK’s post-Brexit negotiations with the EU, but then quit as a minister last December over issues including ‘coercive’ Covid restrictions.

In January, following a Daily Mail campaign, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps ordered around 100 miles of smart motorway projects to be paused – but many more are still under construction.

That is despite a report in May revealing that the roads without a hard shoulder are three times more lethal to break down on than those that retain the safety lane.

The National Highways analysis also showed there were 53 deaths on smart motorways in the four years to 2019, with at least 18 blamed to some degree on the roads.

At the hustings last night, Miss Truss agreed that the push to build the motorways needed to be reviewed. She said: ‘I absolutely think that we need to review them and stop them if they’re not working as soon as possible. I believe the smart motorways experiment hasn’t worked.’

She also agreed to ‘look into’ the suggestion that speed limits on motorways should be scrapped. Lifting the 70mph limit would bring motorways in line with certain sections of Germany’s autobahns where there are only advisory speeds.

Miss Truss ruled out energy rationing to cope with the cost-of-living crisis and declared there would be no new taxes under her premiership.

Mr Sunak has already pledged to ban new smart motorways, and to ensure that all the existing ones are improved with extra refuge areas and technology to identify stopped vehicles. Yesterday, he said that ‘we shouldn’t rule anything out’ when asked about energy rationing.

Michael Gove paid tribute to Boris Johnson last night – just weeks after being sacked by him and branded a snake by No 10. At the Wembley hustings, he said the country must never forget the departing Prime Minister’s achievements.

‘He was the man who delivered Brexit. He was the man who delivered the fastest vaccine rollout in the world. He was the man who stood resolute with Volodymyr Zelensky and the brave people of Ukraine when others wobbled and shirked the struggle,’ the former cabinet minister told party members.

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