New driving law changes to be rolled out as Sunak vows to 'slam the brakes on anti-car measures'

A busy motorway

The new changes aim to make motoring easier and cheaper for drivers

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 02/10/2023

- 08:53

The Prime Minister is setting out a long-term plan to protect drivers across the country

The Government has unveiled new long-term plans to support hard-pressed drivers after a number of controversial law changes introduced in recent years.

The law changes are being proposed after years of “over-zealous traffic enforcement” as the Government backs British drivers.

It is hoped the new plans will support the majority who drive by keeping motoring costs under control and ensuring people have the freedom to drive.

This follows the decision from the Welsh Government to change the average speed limit on restricted roads from 30mph down to 20mph.

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The new rules were met with strong resistance from many, including drivers and politicians, with more than 450,000 people signing a petition calling for the speed limits to be scrapped.

One of the Government’s proposals will review guidance on 20mph limits in England and prevent the use of slower speeds in areas where they are not appropriate.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a review into low traffic neighbourhoods, with a spokesperson saying it would ensure measures work for residents, businesses and emergency services.

This will come under a Government plan to look at “existing anti-driver policies” which do not receive consent from local residents.

There will also be a crackdown on so-called “15-minute cities”, with the Government planning to consult on methods that “aggressively restrict where people can drive".

Commenting on the new proposals, Rishi Sunak said politicians had focused on short-term decisions and ignored the ramifications it would have on hardworking families in the long run.

He added: “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.”

The Government also plans to launch a call for evidence to look at local authorities being granted additional powers to fine motorists for moving traffic offences, like stopping in a yellow box junction or driving in a bus lane.

Parking will also get easier for motorists with plans to develop new technology to make payments more streamlined by using one app rather than needing a number of different apps.

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.”


A yellow box junction

The Government could crack down on councils issuing fines for moving traffic offences


The Department for Transport will be unveiling further plans and measures in the coming days as the Conservative Party Conference continues in Manchester.

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