HOW WILL NEW RULES FOR DRIVERS AFFECT YOU?

The government has recently unveiled a set of measures aimed at simplifying life for drivers in England while promoting the adoption of electric vehicles and encouraging active and public travel. Here are the key points you should be aware of:

 

Annual EV Sales Targets

  • What’s happening? The government has confirmed mandatory zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) targets for new car and van registrations starting in 2024. These targets will escalate annually, paving the way to phase out petrol, diesel, and hybrid models by 2035, with substantial penalties for non-compliance.
  • What does this mean for drivers? Non-hybrid vehicles will still be available between 2030 and 2035, but ZEV targets remain unchanged. Penalties for exceeding targets include fines of £15,000 per non-ZEV car and £18,000 per van. Manufacturers can trade ZEV credits with other companies. While concerns exist about potential supply manipulations by manufacturers to avoid fines, similar trends are emerging across Europe.

 

The Plan for Drivers

 

Control of Local Traffic Schemes

  • What’s being proposed? The government proposes that policy changes affecting local roads should have resident support. This includes road-by-road approval to avoid widespread 20mph limits, reviews of low-traffic neighbourhoods and prevention of 15-minute city schemes with excessive car use restrictions.
  • What does this mean for drivers? The plan acknowledges the 20mph default speed limit in Welsh urban areas but doesn’t specify exemptions. It discusses Oxford’s 15-minute neighbourhood plan without endorsing misleading discussions about restricting travel freedom.

 

Centralised Parking, Charging, and Road Data

  • What’s being proposed? The National Parking Platform will be implemented by autumn 2024, streamlining payments for parking, charging, and providing live data to navigation systems. Traffic regulation orders will be digitised.
  • What does this mean for drivers? The platform aims to simplify car park payments and promises streamlined access for EV charge points. This could save time and reduce emissions, considering that drivers spend an average of 44 hours annually searching for parking.

 

Help for Drivers without Off-Street Parking

  • What’s being proposed? Measures to facilitate EV charging for households without off-street parking, including a consultation on on-street installations and guidelines for safely running cables.
  • What does this mean for drivers? With a quarter of vehicles in England parking on the road, regulations supporting on-street charging are overdue. The plan addresses challenges faced by homeowners without garages or driveways, aiming to enhance safety and accessibility.

 

Other Suggestions in the Plan for Drivers

 

  • Driver Education: A marketing campaign, in collaboration with National Highways, to educate drivers about smart motorways, lane hogging, and tailgating. It will also champion and advocate EV’s and address any common myths and misconceptions around them.
  • Roadworks: Support for Lane Rental schemes, which are already used in London, to charge workers based on the time they occupy the highway, with increased penalties for overruns.
  • Bus Lanes: Consultations to consider opening bus lanes to motorcycles and allowing other drivers access outside peak hours.
  • Public Charge points: Reviewing the grid connection process and consulting on measures to enable faster installation of charge points.
  • Challenging Fines: A consultation to publicise the Right to Challenge guidance and consider extending it to other traffic contraventions. Exploring ways to restrict local authorities’ ability to generate surplus income from fines.

 

We will keep you up to date with any further information relating to this, so keep an eye on the blog for more information.

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