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Conservatives pledge to ‘back drivers’ with new law

Under the Conservatives pledge set out on Friday, it also said that it would reverse the expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, known as Ulez.

The central London Ulez, first introduced in 2019, was extended to cover the whole of Greater London last August.

A £12.50 daily charge applies for entering the zone in a vehicle that does not meet emissions standards.

It is aimed at tackling air pollution in the capital city but its expansion sparked protests across London, with Ulez cameras and signage also being damaged.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak took aim at Labour leaders in Westminster and Cardiff Bay, who he accused of launching a “war on drivers”.

The Conservatives say the Bill would ensure a binding local referendum on any new proposed Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes or 20mph zones, as well as existing schemes where 15% of residents in affected wards sign a petition.

In March, new government guidance was issued on LTNs after a review was ordered by Rishi Sunak. It said councils would have to consider residents’ views before introducing any LTNs, which are designed to reduce traffic in residential areas by restricting their use as through routes.

The Welsh government reduced the restricted roads “default” speed from 30mph to 20mph in December last year in built-up areas like villages, towns and cities.

But the process of reverting some roads from the 20mph limit will begin in September, as the policy is being “refined” after it drew heavy criticism from some affected drivers.

A Labour spokesperson said that it would “leave decisions on safe school streets and local traffic measures to local communities – not politicians in Westminster.”

They added that they would “tackle rip-off car insurance costs” and “break down planning barriers” to ensure transport infrastructure is delivered on time.

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson suggested the announcement was “pure hypocrisy”.

“[The Conservatives’] lack of action and cuts to highways budgets costs motorists across the country time and money every day,” they said.

It also said that they would increase rural fuel duty relief to help drivers in those areas.

The BBC has also approached the SNP for comment.

#Conservatives #pledge #drivers #law

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