New road closure rules ‘being used to attack vehicle use’ says drivers’ group

New rules relating to road closures are ‘being used to attack vehicle use’ according to a drivers’ group.

In August, the Department for Transport updated its guidance on road closures to make it easier for residents to turn their neighbourhoods into ‘occasional play streets’. The intent is to promote the creation of small events and sports games to encourage children to play outside.

However, the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) says it is ‘becoming increasingly concerned’ that day-long closures are being implemented for ‘frivolous’ reasons. It said that although most events happen on a Sunday, ‘this is a normal working day for many… workers providing essential services and workers on-call’.

It said there was often ‘little or no meaningful consultation’ and that drivers ‘face illegal road blockages by ideologically and politically motivated protest groups’.

ABD Spokesman Paul Biggs said: “We have a long tradition in the UK of brief, localised road closures in towns and cities for events such as carnivals or Remembrance, but extensive, day-long road closures are now being used to attack vehicle use.

Road Sign Stock
(PA)

“We need to remember what the roads are actually for and why it is vital that they aren’t unnecessarily obstructed. Roads are not a replacement for parks, gardens or the ballot box.”

A Car Free Day in Birmingham, planned for September 22, was rescheduled for Spring 2020 because of ‘a number of outstanding issues’.

Speaking when the closure was originally announced, councillor Waseem Zaffar said closing the mile-long stretch of the A38 was “a fantastic opportunity for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to come together to see their city from a new perspective and at the same time improve their health and wellbeing”.

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