Wednesday 2 November 2022 05:37 PM Grieving families slam Rishi Sunak's 'disgusting' U-turn over his pledge to axe ... trends now
Grieving relatives of drivers killed on smart motorways accused Rishi Sunak yesterday of a 'disgusting' U-turn over his pledge to axe the controversial roads.
During the Tory leadership contest this summer the Prime Minister pledged a 'comprehensive ban' on new smart motorway schemes and branded them 'unsafe'.
He said ministers would continue the previous Government's strategy of pausing their roll-out while gathering more safety data from existing schemes.
Officials will then decide 'whether or not we roll out any more of these motorways', Mr Harper said.
During the Tory leadership contest this summer the Prime Minister pledged a 'comprehensive ban' on new smart motorway schemes and branded them 'unsafe'
Yesterday his Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, left the door open to more being built
Speaking to LBC, he added: 'You'll know my predecessor-but-one [Grant Shapps] paused rolling out any new smart motorways until the department could gather evidence over a significant period of time about their operation, about their safety record... and that position remains the case.'
But it is in stark contrast to this summer, when Mr Sunak said: 'Smart motorways are unpopular because they are unsafe.
Critics say smart motorways are 'death traps' and want the hard shoulders restored, as broken down cars can be smashed into from behind as there's no safety lane
'We need to listen to drivers, be on their side and stop with the pursuit of policies that go against common sense.'
He went on to promise a 'comprehensive ban' on new schemes.
Relatives of those killed on smart motorways hit out at the U-turn.
Sally Jacobs, 83, whose 83-year-old husband Derek was killed on the M1 in 2019, said: 'I'm disgusted because the Conservatives keep promising everything and then do a U-turn.