It’s looking more and more likely that Liz Truss will be setting up shop in Number 10 next week, and if she does scoop the UK's top job, she might scrap motorway speed limits.
Speaking on Wednesday (31 August), Truss - who’s up against Rishi Sunak to be the new Prime Minister - floated the idea of speed-limit-free highways in the UK - saying ‘mandatory speed limits need to be reviewed’.
Truss made the comment during her party’s final hustings event before the UK’s new leader is announced. See what Truss had to say below:
A Conservative audience member asked the current foreign secretary: “Smart motorways kill. They also cause long delays because they close lanes off when there’s a breakdown, which is a problem for people who have to drive as part of their job.
"They also often impose very low speed limits – mandatory ones – much lower than necessary.
“So will you restore hard shoulders to all motorways and, in the meantime, will you change the speed limit from mandatary to advisory to allow drivers to make their own judgements on what is a safe speed, rather than having some overcautious man in a remote box decide the speed limit for them?”
Truss replied: “I agree with you. I absolutely think that we need to review them and stop them if they’re not working as soon as possible. All the evidence I have agrees with the point you’re making on smart motorways.
“On speed limits, I’d be prepared to look at that. I can’t give you a precise answer on that point. But I do believe that the smart motorways experiment hasn’t worked.”
Moderator Nick Ferrari, of LBC radio, then asked point blank if Truss would ‘stop smart motorways’, to which she replied: “Yes.”
Government figures show that in 2021, around 27,300 people were killed or seriously injured on British roads.
Truss’s remarks come days after the Tory leadership frontrunner pulled out of a BBC interview that was scheduled for Tuesday (30 August), meaning she hasn't taken part in a single set-piece broadcast Q&A in her bid to become PM.
Confirming Truss had pulled out, a BBC spokesperson said this week: “Ms Truss’s team say she can no longer spare the time to appear on Our Next Prime Minister.
“We regret that it has not been possible to do an in-depth interview with both candidates despite having reached agreement to do so.”