Learner drivers will be able to have lessons on motorways from 2018 in a move intended to improve road safety.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling confirmed the law change which allows learners on motorways with an approved driving instructor in a dual-control car.
The Government said the move “will provide a broader range of real life experiences and better prepare learners for independent driving when they pass their test”.
However, despite being introduced to learner lessons, it will not be included as part of the driving test. It is understood that this is because learners in some areas of the country such as Cornwall and Dorset do not have access to motorways.
At the moment, learners cannot drive on a motorway until after they have passed their test. It is, however, offered as part of the Government's official Pass Plus scheme, an optional add-on educational programme for new drivers.
The changes to the law come following a Department for Transport consultation earlier this year, which received wide support from both learner drivers and approved driving instructors. The changes apply to England, Wales and Scotland.
Talking about the changes, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Younger drivers are up to seven times more likely to be killed or seriously injured compared with drivers over twenty-five and lack of experience is an important factor.
“Allowing learners to drive on motorways in a supportive environment will help them develop a practical understanding of how to use motorways safely before driving independently.”
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: “While motorways are statistically our safest roads, it can be daunting using them for the first time after passing the driving test. Giving learners the option to gain valuable experience on our fastest and busiest roads should further improve safety and enhance the confidence of new drivers."
British School of Motoring development boss Jasmine Halstead added: “If learners aren’t allowed to practise on motorways under supervision then some will avoid motorways, and others will use motorways incorrectly when they have passed their test.”