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New plans for motorway learning

If New Government plans are approved, Learner drivers will be allowed on to motorways for the first time. Under current rules, drivers are permitted on motorways only after they have passed their test, though there is no mandatory training for the 70mph roads.


Lessons would be in a dual-control car with an approved instructor. The lessons will not be mandatory and driving instructors will decide when their students are ready. There will be a £2m research project into how to improve motoring education for learner and novice drivers. The proposals will be put out to consultation next year.

Transport minister Andrew Jones says the move would help make roads in Britain safer. "We have some of the safest roads in the world and we want to make them even safer. These changes will equip learners with a wider range of experience and greater skill set which will improve safety levels on our roads”

The changes are being introduced because of fears that motorists are more likely to use dangerous back roads instead using the three-lane highways after passing their test. Under the proposals, competent learner drivers will be able to have some of their lessons on motorways as long as they are with an approved driving instructor in a car that has dual controls. Officials believe allowing learners on to motorways will improve the awareness and experience of new drivers and therefore boost safety on Britain's roads. It is designed to ensure that learner drivers are properly prepared for all types of roads after they pass their test.

Other Changes

The Department for Transport is also looking at trialling a "target number" of hours of lessons to complete before learners take their test. For those on motorcycles, the Compulsory Basic Training course - which allows them to ride unaccompanied on roads - would also be updated. Motorcycle training would also require more online courses, with novice riders having to take a theory test.

Under government plans, people who pass their test will be entitled to “cashback” from the £62 fee they pay for taking it.Those that fail, however, will have to pay the full amount in a bid to encourage young drivers to ensure that they are ready to take the test. The proposals for a ‘cashback’ incentive for the driving test, introducing in a deposit which is returned to the driver if they pass, encouraging learner drivers to take their test when they are ready.

Pass Plus

Pass Plus is a practical training course that takes at least 6 hours and is for drivers to improve their skills and drive more safely. It can be taken at any time although it should be most useful to new drivers in the year after passing their test.

The Pass Plus course fills in the gaps that the traditional driving test leaves, such as motorway driving and night driving. It will help improve your confidence whilst out on the road as it will not only help to improve your hazard awareness, knowledge and skills when driving but it could also prevent you being involved in a serious accident. Pass plus can help to bring down the cost of young drivers insurance – saving you money. See our page on Pass Plus


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