Transport Secretary Mark Harper has unveiled an extensive plan to safeguard drivers from excessive traffic enforcement, marking a pivotal move in the government's commitment to support motorists. With over 50 million driving license holders in Great Britain and more than 40 million licensed vehicles in the UK, the new plan aims to control motoring costs, ensuring the majority of drivers can exercise their freedom to drive as needed in their daily lives.
20mph Speed Limits
The measures outlined in the plan include a review of guidance on 20mph speed limits in England, aiming to prevent their indiscriminate application in areas where it is deemed inappropriate. Additionally, there will be revisions to guidance on low-traffic neighbourhoods, focusing on local consent. As part of an ongoing review, the government will consider measures for existing anti-driver policies that lacked local consent.
To streamline parking payments, a national parking platform pilot will be rolled out nationwide, enabling drivers to use their preferred app for payments rather than downloading multiple apps. The initiative is geared towards simplifying the parking process for drivers across the country.
In the ongoing effort to address potholes, the government plans to assist councils in implementing more lane rental schemes. These schemes will require utility companies to pay for road excavations on the busiest roads during peak times. At least half of the additional funds generated from these fees will be directly allocated to repairing road surfaces.
To combat prolonged street works, the government will explore options to extend fines for repairs that extend into weekends and increase current fixed penalty notice levels. A call for evidence will be initiated to explore ways to limit local authorities' ability to generate revenue surpluses from traffic offences and curb overzealous traffic enforcement, including yellow-box junctions.
PM Echos Government Commitment
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak emphasized the government's commitment to a long-term plan supporting drivers, pushing back against what is perceived as anti-car measures across England. The government aims to strike a balance between supporting drivers and investing in public transport and active travel.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper emphasized the importance of recognizing the private car as a powerful force for personal freedom and economic growth. The new plan seeks to ensure smoother journeys, easier parking, and the elimination of unfair and oppressive traffic enforcement measures. The plan aligns with the government's commitment to net zero, with an emphasis on supporting individuals who rely on cars for their daily activities.
The measures outlined in the plan follow the Prime Minister's recent announcement on the commitment to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035. The government has consistently supported drivers, including a 5p per litre reduction in fuel duty since March 2022, substantial investment in road resurfacing, and regulations to prevent utility companies from leaving potholes after street works. Further details of the plan are expected to be published in the coming days.