UK transport secretary Mark Harper has announced a new government plan that backs drivers of passenger cars.
The measures include reviewing guidance on 20mph speed limits in England to prevent their blanket use in areas deemed ‘inappropriate’ and amending guidance on low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) to focus on local consent.
As part of an ongoing review into LTNs, the government said it will consider measures for what it described as ‘existing anti-driver policies’ that did not secure local consent.
The plans also aim to stop councils implementing ‘15-minute cities’, by consulting on ways to prevent schemes it believes ‘aggressively restrict’ where people can drive.
A national parking platform pilot that aims to simply parking payments through a single app was also announced, as was the introduction of more lane rental schemes to support councils in tackling potholes.
Under the proposals – where utility companies are required to pay to dig up the busiest roads at peak times – at least half of the extra money raised from the fees will reportedly go directly toward repairing road surfaces.
And, to further clamp down on overrunning street works, the government said it will consult on extending fines for repairs that run into weekends and increasing current levels of fixed penalty notices.
UK 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.”
According to Harper, the pro-car plan will sit alongside continued investments in public transport and active travel.
What’s more, a call for evidence will be launched on options to restrict the ability of local authorities to generate revenue surpluses from traffic offences and supposedly ‘over-zealous traffic enforcement’, such as yellow-box junctions.
To improve traffic flow, the UK Department for Transport will change guidance on bus lanes to ensure they 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 British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent announcement to delaying the introduction of the end of sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 to 2035, and subsequent clarity regarding the government’s ZEV mandate, which sets out the percentage of new zero-emission cars automotive manufacturers will be required to produce each year up to 2030.
Innovations and achievements in traffic management and clean vehicles will be highlighted and celebrated at the second annual CiTTi Awards on 21 November 2023 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Visit www.cittiawards.co.uk to learn more about this unmissable event for the UK’s transportation sector – and to book your table today!