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Rishi Sunak hits out at 'hare-brained traffic schemes' and vows to stop 'war on motorists'


Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has vowed to “slam the brakes” on “hare-brained schemes” affecting drivers in the UK  – including 20mph zones and low traffic neighbourhoods.

Mr Sunak said he intended to put an end to the “relentless attack on motorists” after the Government announced its new long-term plan to back drivers.

Speaking to The Sun ahead of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, the Prime Minister said: “What we want to do now is make sure that all these hare-brained schemes forced on local communities, whether it is low traffic neighbourhoods, whether it is blanket 20 mile an hour speed limits, all of that… (they) need to stop.

“What we want to make sure is that local communities are not having these things imposed upon them, forced on them.”

In Friday’s announcement, the Government said it planned to “keep traffic moving, make parking simpler, and clamp down on overrunning road works”.

The scheme is set to include reviewing guidance on 20mph schemes in England to “prevent their blanket use in areas where it is not appropriate to do so” – following the expansion of a blanket 20mph speed limit on many roads in Wales.

Controversial low-traffic-neighbourhood restrictions, in place in UK cities including Oxford, will also be looked at, with the Government also considering “measures for existing anti-driver policies that did not secure local consent”.

Following Friday’s announcement, Mr 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 is expected to deliver more details on the scheme at his speech at the Tory conference on Monday.

On Friday, he said:  “Too often the private car is vilified when it has been one of the most powerful forces for personal freedom and economic growth.

“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.”

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