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Rishi Sunak orders review of controversial Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods

Rishi Sunak has ordered a review of the rollout of Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods as the Prime Minister said he was on the side of motorists.

The Prime Minister used an interview in the Sunday Telegraph to announce that he has ordered the Department for Transport to review low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) policies.

Under such plans, local councils attempt limit traffic in town and city centres – with drivers often prevented from using quiet residential roads as through-routes.

The measures are also designed to encourage uptake of other modes of transport.

But the adoption of the polices has attracted the ire of some Tory MPs, who have criticised the measures as attacks on motorists.

Mr Sunak told the Telegraph: “The vast majority of people in the country use their cars to get around and are dependent on their cars. When I’m lucky enough to get home to North Yorkshire it’s more representative of how most of the country is living, where cars are important.

“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.”

The pitch to motorists and car owners comes after the Conservatives’ narrow victory in the Uxbridge and Ruislip by-election earlier this month, which saw the Tory candidate tap into local concerns about the expansion of London’s ultra-low emissions zone (Ulez).

That success has seen some Tory MPs on the right of the party urge Mr Sunak to engage in a rethink on net zero, amid hopes of attacking Labour’s green ambitions.

The spread of LTNs in recent months has emerged as a concern among some on the right of the Conservative Party.

Conservative MP Nick Fletcher suggested in the Commons earlier this year that traffic control plans being mooted by local councils across the UK were part of an “international socialist concept” which would take away personal liberties.

In the same interview, Mr Sunak knocked back calls to change the deadline for the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel car sales.

He told the paper: “The 2030 target has been our policy for a long time and continues to be. We are not considering a delay to that date.”

But he doubled-down on attacks on Sir Keir Starmer amid the row over the Ulez scheme, which is being pushed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The Labour leader and other senior party have called on Mr Khan to reflect on the policy following the Uxbridge defeat.

The capital’s mayor has promised to listen to Londoners, while also stressing the urgent need to clean up the city’s air.

“I’ve become slightly more alarmed by the Labour Party’s position. It’s quite anti-motorist,” Mr Sunak claimed.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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