Liz Truss suggests she could scrap motorway speed limits if she becomes PM

The Tory leadership hopeful suggested raising the motorway speed limit from 70mph to 80mph in 2018

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Liz Truss has said she is “prepared to look at” introducing a German-style motorway system with no speed limits if she becomes Prime Minister next week.

During the final Tory leadership hustings, an audience member put the question of speed limits to the Foreign Secretary, to which she responded: “On speed limits, we need to be prepared to look at that ... I can’t give you a precise answer.”

This policy pledge comes in the autumn of the leadership contest, but the Remainer-turned-Leaver did say in 2018 that the Government should consider raising the speed limit from 70 miles per hour to 80.

Ms Truss told the Tory Party Conference at the time: “I’d also like us to look again at things like our speed limits on the motorway. We have often toyed with the idea of raising it to 80mph, why don’t we look at that again?"

Liz Truss during a hustings event in Perth, Scotland.
Liz Truss during a hustings event in Perth, Scotland.
Rishi Sunak arriving on stage to deliver his keynote speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.
Rishi Sunak arriving on stage to deliver his keynote speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.

The 47-year-old leadership frontrunner also declared that the “experiment hasn’t worked” in relation to smart motorways, following in the footsteps of rival Rishi Sunak.

“I absolutely think that we need to review them and stop them if they are not working as soon as possible ... and all the evidence I have suggests they’re not working,” the Oxford-born MP said.

“We need to be prepared to look at that. I do believe that the smart motorways experiment hasn’t worked.”

She was asked whether or not she intended to scrap them if she won the race for Downing Street, to which she responded: “Yes.”

The hustings on 31 August were the final time Truss and Sunak went to head-to-head before the next Prime Minister is announced. It could, therefore, have been the showpiece finale to cap off a fierce leadership contest, not least because it was held at Wembley.

However with Liz Truss commanding a significant poll lead, the last knockings of the battle for Number 10 were not the much-watch spectacle befitting the gravity of the office at stake.

Once the leadership election if formally closed, Mr Johnson and his successor will go to Balmoral rather than Buckingham Palace for the appointment of the new prime minister, in a break from tradition.

The Queen will receive Mr Johnson on Tuesday September 6 at her Aberdeenshire home, where he will formally tender his resignation.

This will be followed by an audience with the new Tory leader, where she or he will be invited to form a government.