The Local Government Association has called on the government to trust councils with transport powers, following the announcement of a long-term plan to “back drivers.”
Last week the Transport Secretary and the Prime Minister announced a new plan that would protect drivers from what they labelled “over-zealous traffic enforcement.” These plans would seek to keep the costs of driving under control, whilst also protecting those who choose to drive as they go about their daily lives.
A review on the guidance surrounding 20 mph limits will be launched, as the government looks to prevent blanket use in areas where it isn’t appropriate, whilst the guidance around low traffic neighbourhoods will also be amended to ensure a new focus on local consent. The review into low traffic neighbourhoods is ongoing, however the government is already looking to stop the implementation of 15- minute cities.
Touching on the plans to change the focus of locally made decisions, 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.
“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.”
The Prime Minister also spoke on the issue, saying:
“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.”
With local decisions being made by the councils that engage closely within communities, the Local Government has responded to decisions being taken out of the hands of local leaders, with Transport spokesperson Cllr Darren Rodwell commenting:
“Councils want to work with the government to make our roads safer and attractive for everyone who uses them. However, it is councils – who know their communities best – that should be trusted to make local transport decisions with their local residents, not Whitehall.
“They must continue to have the ability to work with local residents on any measures which can help improve road safety and air quality and reduce congestion.
“Removing the ability of all councils to enforce moving traffic violations would be a backwards step that will risk creating a two-tier transport system between London and the rest of the country.”
Recently, the Prime Minister also announced his new approach to net zero, with this seeing a five-year delay on the ban on selling new petrol and diesel vehicles.
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