As of today, learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales. This article from PA Motoring Service explains how this change came about and what it means for learner drivers. If you’re a first-time driver, check out our helpful article about learning to drive with a disability and how the Motability Scheme can help.
Learner drivers across Britain can now take to the motorway as part of a law change.
From today, holders of a provisional driving licence will be allowed to have lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales – but they must be accompanied by a qualified driving instructor while in a vehicle with dual controls.
It is a voluntary option for instructors to offer, though, as motorway driving hasn’t been added to the official test as part of the change. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) hasn’t confirmed if it will be added in any future revisions, either.
This change only applies to learner car drivers, with motorcyclists in training still not allowed on motorways. Trainee driver instructors are also unable to conduct lessons on motorways until they are qualified.
The DVSA says the change has been made to give learner drivers broader experience before becoming independent behind the wheel, allowing them to practise driving at higher speeds as well as teaching them how to properly merge on to and leave motorways.
Lynne Barrie, chairwoman of the Approved Driving Instructors National Joint Council, said: “After many years of campaigning, I am delighted to finally see this change in the law to allow learner drivers on to the motorways.
“Although motorways are statistically the safest of our roads, they can be very daunting when first used. To allow learners to have this experience will help them develop skills in the pre-test period, which makes far more sense and will allow them to manage driving on high-speed roads more effectively once they have a licence.
“We also applaud the government decision that only approved driving instructors in dual-controlled cars will be able to take them on the motorway, and we will do so at a time when the learner is confident enough to do this at around test standard.
“With this extra experience on the fastest roads, it should help to improve safety and the confidence of new drivers.”