Rishi Sunak criticizes traffic schemes and defends motorists.

The government has announced a new long-term plan aimed at supporting the 50 million UK drivers holding valid licenses. This announcement comes after the prime minister’s controversial decision to delay the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles until 2035.

Rishi Sunak has emphasized that he is “putting the brakes on the war against motorists.” The government has also clarified that councils will no longer have the authority to enforce blanket 20mph speed limits.

The prime minister has set his sights on low-traffic neighborhoods, which will only be allowed with local approval. The Department of Transport aims to prevent councils from implementing “15-minute cities,” which are seen as aggressively limiting where people can drive.

These cities propose that nearly all essential services, including healthcare, shopping, social activities, and education, should be accessible within a 15-minute walk or cycle ride from any city location.

In an interview with The Sun, Mr. Sunak criticized such schemes as “idiotic” and argued that penalizing drivers going about their daily lives “does not align with Britain’s values.”

This announcement coincides with the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, which commences this weekend. Mr. Sunak hopes to capitalize on the momentum gained in the Uxbridge by-election, where London’s controversial Ultra Low Emission Zone was a significant campaign issue.

The government’s new long-term plan aims to support the 50 million UK drivers holding valid licenses.

Additional measures include efforts to simplify phone-based parking payments, imposing fees on utility companies that disrupt busy roadways during rush hour, and launching a consultation on the use of bus lanes by motorcycles.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper emphasized, “We oppose what we’ve seen the Labour government in Wales do, implementing a blanket policy across all urban and residential areas in Wales, even when it makes no sense.”

“That not only makes life more difficult for bus drivers but also for bus riders, which is counterproductive and precisely what we aim to prevent.”

In a speech to Tory members on Monday, Mr. Harper will elaborate on how this plan complements “continued investments in public transport.”

This decision follows the prime minister’s choice to postpone the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles until 2035, a change from the original target of 2030.

Labour criticized this policy announcement as “an act of weakness from a desperate, directionless prime minister.”

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