The new plans are being introduced to stop the ‘relentless attack on motorists’, according to the Prime Minister, who spoke to The Sun about his new plans.

But what exactly has Sunak outlined and how could it change driving in England? Here, we’re going to take a look at the major changes and what they mean for you.

20 mph sign

No to blanket 20mph schemes

Wales’ adoption of blanket 20mph zones has been widely controversial and it’s this furore that has no doubt triggered Sunak to introduce a new pledge. The Department of Transport (DfT) has said that guidance on the use of 20mph zones would be reviewed in order to ‘prevent their blanket use in areas where it is not appropriate’.

This doesn’t mean that 20mph zones will be outlawed entirely, but they might be used in a more selective way than they have been in Wales.

National Parking Platform

The National Parking Platform aims to make it easier to pay for parking. Essentially, rather than having to download lots of individual apps for different areas, you’ll only have to download one ‘umbrella’ app that will then work for various car parks.

The system has already been rolled out across multiple cities in the UK, but it’s expected to be expanded by summer 2024.

parking central in a bay

Crackdown on ‘overzealous’ council fines

Sunak was also keen to confirm that he would be taking a harder stance against local councils in England that are too ‘overzealous’ when it comes to the enforcement of parking and yellow box junctions.

Plus, the DfT has stated that the guidance would be made clearer to ensure that bus lanes were only operating when necessary. This would allow them to be used by all motorists at peak times. A consultation will also be launched on whether or not motorcycles can use bus lanes, though in many cities - such as Bristol - they already can.

Stronger measures for ‘15-minute cities’

Some councils in England have implemented ‘15-minute cities’, or areas which promote alternative forms of transport such as cycling and walking over vehicles. Cars are prevented from entering these areas and can be fined for doing so - though many of these areas are blocked off by physical barriers. Critics have said that they only move traffic away from these areas, however, rather than solving the overall problem.

It’s a move which has proven controversial. Conspiracies have arisen that suggest that 15-minute cities prevent people from travelling outside certain areas, too. In response, the government will be consulting on ‘ways to prevent schemes which aggressively restrict where people can drive’.

Stronger measures for utility companies

In an effort to tackle the UK’s mounting pothole problems, the government will be introducing more ‘lane rental schemes’. Essentially, utility companies will be required to pay to dig up the busiest roads at peak times, ensuring that they’re working as efficiently as possible or working in off-peak times instead.

The DfT says that ‘at least half’ of the extra money from these fees will go directly towards repairing road surfaces. The government will also be consulting on increasing fines for repairs which overrun into weekends.



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