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BREAKING: Government unveils measures to protect drivers and end ‘15-minute-cities’

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

Transport Secretary Mark Harper has announced a series of plans aimed at protecting drivers from aggressive traffic enforcement and ensuring their freedom on the roads. These measures are part of a comprehensive long-term plan by the Government to support drivers and keep motoring costs in check.

With over 50 million people holding driving licences in Great Britain and more than 40 million licensed vehicles in the UK, the Government's initiative seeks to prioritise the needs of the vast majority who rely on driving as an integral part of their daily lives.

The first of these measures involves a review of the guidance on 20mph speed limits in England. The aim is to prevent their blanket application in areas where they may not be appropriate. The Government also plans to amend the guidance on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) to ensure local consent is the primary focus.

As part of the ongoing review of LTNs, the Government will also consider measures to address existing anti-driver policies that were implemented without securing local consent. Additionally, the Government aims to halt the implementation of so-called '15-minute cities' by consulting on ways to prevent schemes that aggressively restrict where people can drive.

Drivers will soon benefit from new technology designed to simplify parking payments. The National Parking Platform pilot will be extended nationwide, allowing drivers to use a single app of their choice to make payments, eliminating the hassle of downloading multiple apps.

In a continued effort to tackle potholes, the Government will support councils in introducing more Lane Rental schemes. These schemes require utility companies to pay for digging up the busiest roads during peak times. At least half of the additional funds raised from these fees will be directly allocated towards repairing road surfaces.

To further address disruptions caused by extended street works, the Government plans to consult on extending fines for repairs that overrun into weekends, as well as increasing the current levels of Fixed Penalty Notices.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “For too long politicians have focused on the short-term decisions with little regard for the long term impact on hardworking families.

“We’ve seen this consistently with people’s freedoms on transport. The clamp down on drivers is an attack on the day to day lives of most people across the UK who rely on cars to get to work or see their families.

“This week the UK Government will set out a long-term plan to back drivers, slamming the brakes on anti-car measures across England. We are taking the necessary decision to back the motorists who keep our country moving.”

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Too often the private car is vilified when it has been one of the most powerful forces for personal freedom and economic growth. That’s why the Government is taking the long-term, necessary decision to back the motorists who keep our country moving.

“We’re introducing a plan to ensure drivers can enjoy smoother journeys, park more easily and no longer face unfair and oppressive traffic enforcement measures.

“Our plan will sit alongside our continued investment in public transport and active travel as part of a package of measures designed to help people travel in the best way that works for them.”

A call for evidence will be launched on options to restrict the ability of local authorities to generate revenue surpluses from traffic offences and over-zealous traffic enforcement, such as yellow-box junctions.

To make life easier for drivers and help traffic flow better, the Department for Transport will strengthen guidance to make sure bus lanes only operate when necessary and a consultation will be launched on motorcycles using bus lanes. Further measures and the full plan will be published in the coming days.

The measures follow the Prime Minister’s new approach to net zero announced last week, which committed to ending the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035, while supporting people who rely on their cars in their daily lives. The long-term plan to back drivers will protect people who rely on their cars from anti-driver policies.


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