Rishi Sunak vows to end the war on motorists with review of anti-car policies as furious drivers say it’s about time


RISHI Sunak has ordered a review of hated low-traffic neighbourhoods — but campaigners urged him to do much MORE to end the war on motorists.

MPs and motoring groups demanded additional action from the PM to target anti-car policies and ­protect cash-strapped drivers.

Tory MPs have called on the PM to do more to protect hard-hit motorists

epa10373744 Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attends the Summit of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) in Riga, Latvia, 19 December 2022. The JEF heads of state, government and ministers met in Riga to discuss Russia's invasion of Ukraine and consequent changes in the security climate in the North Atlantic, Baltic Sea and the High North regions, and on measures to improve regional security. The JEF is a coalition of nations (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom). EPA/VALDA KALNINAHe today vowed to review hated low traffic neighbourhoods amid concerns about congestion surrounding them

A local bus passes an ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) sign on the South Circular at Tulse Hill, on 21st July 2023, in London, England. Introduced by his Conservative predecessor Boris Johnson, London Mayor Sadiq Khan wants to expand the ULEZ area to a wider London to older vehicles such as polluting diesels and petrol cars, a controversial air quality policy to lower poisonous emissions that harms the health of 1 in 10 children. Drivers of non-exempt vehicles may enter the ULEZ after paying a £12.50 daily fee - or face a £160 penalty. (Photo by Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images)Locals revolted about Sadiq Khan’s extension of ULEZ in the by-election in Uxbridge

They also pressured Mr Sunak to push back the 2030 cut-off date for new petrol and diesel engines.

It came after the PM vowed to review hated low traffic neighbourhoods amid concerns about congestion surrounding them.

He said “The vast majority of people in the country use their cars to get around and are dependent on their cars.

“I just want to make sure people know that I’m on their side in supporting them to use their cars to do all the things that matter to them.”

But his MPs urged him to go further — and win the party votes.

Greg Smith, who chairs the Transport Committee, said: “Labour are weak on this.

“While they flip-flop, we must stand firmly on the side of motorists.”

It comes after the Tories’ recent victory in the Uxbridge by-election.

Locals revolted against Labour London mayor Sadiq Khan’s extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone to all the capital’s boroughs.

Nearly 700,000 car drivers could be liable to pay the daily £12.50 Ulez charge when the scheme expands next month, the RAC revealed.

Mr Smith added: “Ulez and LTNs are just the tip of the iceberg.

“We need a total turnaround on motoring policy that demonstrates we understand the value of the car to everyday life for the vast majority of Brits. Set Britain’s motorists free!”

In addition, 43 Tory MPs and peers signed a joint letter calling on Mr Sunak to delay the ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars from the current deadline of 2030.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, during a visit to Crofton Park, near Rednal, Birmingham. Picture date: Monday July 24, 2023. PA Photo. The Prime Minister has confirmed that the Conservative Westminster Government is on course to meet its target of building one million homes between 2019-24. See PA story POLITICS Housing. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA WireThe PM has insisted that ‘we are not considering a delay’ on the ban of sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030

The PM has insisted “we are not considering a delay”.

MP Marco Longhi said: “Everybody wants a better planet to leave behind for our children but this should happen in a pragmatic, achievable and fair way.

“There is simply no way that electric cars are either affordable or practical for much of the population.”

Party colleague Iain Duncan Smith warned: “If we don’t move the 2030 date, we will completely destroy our car industry, leave us more dependent on China, and end up making the cost-of-living crisis worse.”

Motorists’ champ Howard Cox said: “Rishi’s words are a good sign in the lead-up to a general election, where motorists want to see the 2030 new diesel and petrol car sales ban scrapped. Do that, Rishi, and you’ve a real chance of winning millions of votes.”