New Guidance For Councils Could Improve Everyday Life in a Big Way

The government is issuing new guidance for councils on how so-called ‘anti-driver’ schemes are implemented 


The government is set to crack down on certain ‘anti-driver’ road schemes, hopefully meaning a smoother ride for motorists.

So-called anti-driver road schemes include things like low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs), and camera-enforced 20mph speed limits. Such schemes have been popular in London, with Sadiq Khan rolling out significant stretches of 20mph roads in the capital, along with swathes of the city now classified as LTNs.

Both schemes have been met with disdain and appreciation in equal measure. With some enjoying the slower-moving traffic in the city, and others loathing the longer journey times and less freedom of movement. LTNs have been particularly contentious, especially for those motorists (both two- and four-wheeled) who live within the blockaded area. For them getting to and from their house using a private vehicle has become much more difficult, with some residents forced to park their car or bike a long way from their front door. It’s scenarios like this that the new guidance from the government could help to address.

In effect, any council wanting to implement new anti-driver schemes in its authority will have to consult those who live within the affected area, giving those most affected by the changes a chance to voice any concerns. Councils will also have to speak to local businesses in the affected area, along with the emergency services. That final point is vital, as closing down entire neighbourhoods to vehicles has in some cases had a big impact on how quickly the emergency services can reach their destination. The government also hopes the new guidelines and processes it is implementing will help to prevent councils from seeing motorists as ‘cash cows’ by enforcing unfair restrictions.

Should a council fall short of its requirement to carry out the above actions, the government could withdraw future funds for road repairs and upgrades, and in extreme cases take full control of the authority's roads and manage them directly.

Speaking about the guidelines, Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:

“We want local people to have their voices heard, and any traffic schemes to have the consent of those they impact.

“Well thought out schemes, like 20mph limits outside schools, can make our roads safer, but we are raising the bar to help ensure all traffic schemes work for everyone in the community.

“We’re on the side of drivers, and these latest measures show we’re getting on with delivering what we promised in our Plan for Drivers – making their lives better, fairer and cheaper, and helping people travel in the way that works best for them.”

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