Drivers Alliance Threatens Legal Action

Mon 20th Jul 2020

A leading campaign group is threatening local councils with a multi-million pound legal action over the threatened closure and narrowing of roads.

The Alliance of British Drivers is a voluntary organisation promoting the interests and concerns of Britain’s drivers. The group have previously campaigned on issues such as congestion tolls, taxation and road safety and are now set to go head-to-head over the increasing use of local authority powers to close roads.

Motorists have come under attack in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with many councils closing roads due to so-called social distancing restrictions, and many suggesting that the lack of cars during lockdown helped the environment. However, local authority initiatives appear to contradict central government advice during COVID-19 of avoiding public transport where possible.

The ABD claim that local councils are abusing a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order to make permanent changes such as cycle lanes and road closures. The group also claim that the changes are victimising some of the most vulnerable members of society.

Speaking to Auto Express, Roger Lawson, campaign manager for the Alliance of British Drivers said: “Temporary Traffic Orders, historically, have been used for emergency purposes, like the road’s caved in or there’s a burst water main.

They’re not supposed to be used for longer-term purposes and, clearly, the intention of many of these councils is to introduce schemes that they had planned months ago.

“There are some people whose journey times have been increased by an hour within a small local area, which is absolutely ridiculous,” Lawson continued. “There are lots of elderly and disabled people who need to use a car.”

Ironically the government is offering councils a share of £250 million to promote initiatives which ease the pressure on public transport - but it appears these schemes mainly focus on walking and cycling.