A new package of measures designed to improve driver training and road safety has been announced today, and includes plans to allow learner drivers to use Britain's motorway network
Darren Moss
30 December 2016

Learner drivers could be allowed onto Britain's motorway network as soon as 2018, the government has announced, as it launches new plans designed to improve driver training.

The new measures, which are also aimed at improving road safety, would see 'competent' learner drivers taught how to handle motorways, which are statistically some of the safest roads in the country. Learners would be accompanied by an approved instructor driving a car with dual controls. However, as with the current driving test, motorway driving would not form part of a driver's final assessment.

Currently, drivers are only allowed to use motorways once they have passed their practical test. In fact, motorway driving education is only covered as part of the government's official Pass Plus scheme, an add-on educational programme for new drivers. 

The Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course for motorcyclists is also changing to move more in line with car driving education. New measures include introducing a theory test for novice riders, revoking the CBT certificate if a provisonal licence holder gets more than six penalty points, and resticting learners to riding an automatic motorcycle if they take their CBT on one.

Announcing the plans, Transport Minister Andrew Jones said the UK had some of the safest roads "in the world," and that "these changes will equip learners with a wider range of experience and greater skill set which will improve safety levels on our roads."

Chief Executive of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency Gareth Llewellyn said: "We want to modernise driver and motorcycle training so that novice drivers and riders gain the skills and knowledge they need to help them stay safe."

Motoring charity the RAC foundation has welcomed the measures, saying that some new drivers find motorways so daunting that they'll deliberately use statistically more dangerous routes to avoid them.

The government has launched a formal consultation on the measures, which will run until 17th February. If approved, they could come into force in 2018. These plans were first unveiled last year, and form part of a £2 million study into improving driver education.

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20

30 December 2016
Never understand this argument. Learners can use 2 or 3 Lane roads already whilst learninG to learn about multi Lane roads and keeping left after passing. Never seen one. No wonder we have so many middle lane hogging morons around.

30 December 2016
So, youre moaning about drivers not knowing how to use motorways properly but you cant understand why new drivers should be taught how to drive on motorways as well as other roads ? Doesnt make a lot of sense does it ?

30 December 2016
typos1 wrote:

So, youre moaning about drivers not knowing how to use motorways properly but you cant understand why new drivers should be taught how to drive on motorways as well as other roads ? Doesnt make a lot of sense does it ?

No, I said I don't understand why this is required when learners can already drive on 2 or 3 Lane roads which are exactly like motorways in terms of speed limits and keeping left after passing. But as I said, never seen a learner on a dual carriageway actually learning to use a multi Lane road. Hence why there are so many morons on motorways. And internet forums when people fail to be able to read a post with simple points made fairly clearly.

1 January 2017
Cheltenhamshire wrote:

Never understand this argument. Learners can use 2 or 3 Lane roads already whilst learninG to learn about multi Lane roads and keeping left after passing. Never seen one. No wonder we have so many middle lane hogging morons around.

I kind of agree. But I don't think it will make much of a difference. The quality of motorway driving is so poor I doubt if we will notice some more crap / inexperienced drivers on the road. No lane discipline. Middle lane muppets rule the world. Maybe a bit more training at the outset might (but probably won't ) get across to people that the middle and outside lanes are for overtaking.
I love the m25, where it is apparent that most, yes, most people have no idea about using 5 lanes. Spread out everyone, and block the whole damn thing.

Spanner

30 December 2016
With automatics becoming more popular, as they are in the likes of USA / Japan etc, why are we still restricting those who pass with an automatic from driving a manual? This is especially restrictive if you look at other hybrid and electric cars which only are offered in automatic. Surely time for this restriction to be removed?
.
As for motorways, it's just a big dual carriageway. There's nothing really special about them and once you've passed your test if you can't handle a motorway you should hand back your license!

30 December 2016
Symanski wrote:

With automatics becoming more popular, as they are in the likes of USA / Japan etc, why are we still restricting those who pass with an automatic from driving a manual? This is especially restrictive if you look at other hybrid and electric cars which only are offered in automatic. Surely time for this restriction to be removed?

Definitely not time to remove the restriction. Think about it, changing gear means having to coordinate both feet and your left hand whilst continuing to steer, look where you are going and keeping your attention on the road ahead, where there may be many other drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, dogs, horses, etc.

Citroëniste.

30 December 2016
First lesson should be how to merge with traffic. Second should be about keeping left. Nobody in the UK apparently knows how to do either yet.

30 December 2016
Second lesson should be how to merge left SAFELY without scaring the shit out of the driver you cut in on and miss by a coat of paint. It is happening to me more frequently, and not just in steady speed traffic.

I agree that both your lessons are vital. They are both part of being aware of and respecting other road users.

Mergers too often push in and then push across all lanes.

Lane hogs are at least now illegal though I've never heard of anyone fined for it.

Third lesson should be keeping your distance and needs serious enforcement, including lorries.

289

30 December 2016
....totally agree here Sonic, these are two of the most frustrating (and potentially dangerous) traits of drivers today to anyone who has to use the Motorway network daily for business purposes.
Still think the Government is making hard work of this issue...though I guess we shouldn't be surprised given the incompetence of Ministers.
Simple answer - when you pass your test you change your 'L' plates for a 'P' plate,(which cannot drive at night or on Motorways), you then have 6 months to gain instruction on these two disciplines (and a further pass for a full licence), when the driver can rip-up their 'P' plates.
Easy for the police to check with ANPR.

30 December 2016
289 wrote:

'P' plate,(which cannot drive at night or on Motorways).

If you can't drive at night, there's parts of the country that only get a few hours of sunshine at this time of year. Fairly pointless having a license at all!
.
I know some countries use P plates, but for myself and other family members I really couldn't see any benefit from them. We had the ability to drive, and do so with a natural ability.
.
Maybe we were just really good drivers?

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