Learner drivers could be allowed to practise on M27

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Learner drivers will be allowed to practise on motorways, including the M27 and M275, if a government plan to improve road safety is given the go-ahead.

Under current rules first-time drivers make their way on to motorways after they pass their test, having had no training on the 70mph roads.

But today Transport Minister Andrew Jones announced the plan, which would allow approved instructors to take ‘competent’ trainees on motorways in dual-controlled cars.

He said: ‘These changes will equip learners with a wider range of experience and greater skill set which will improve safety levels on our roads.’

It means that learner drivers would be able to use the M27 for practice, despite the route being widely criticised due to a succession of crashes between vehicles.

Most of the incidents have happened between Junctions 11 and 12, where the route splits from three to four lanes in both directions.

Plans also include motorcyclists having to take a theory test as part of the compulsory basic training (CBT) course, which allows the bikes, as well as mopeds, to be ridden unaccompanied.

CBT certificates will also be revoked if the motorist gets six penalty points if the proposal is approved.

Reports said the government was considering making learner drivers undertake 120 hours of training before taking their tests, but the Department for Transport said there were “no current plans” for such a measure.

A spokeswoman said: ‘We have commissioned a £2 million research programme that will look at ways we can reduce the number of accidents involving new and inexperienced drivers, and this will look at a range of measures.’