Learner drivers will be allowed to drive on motorways, from June 4 this year, providing they’re accompanied by an approved driving instructor (ADI) in a dual-controlled car.

This is set to be one of the biggest shake-ups in driver training in many years and comes nearly 60 years after the UK’s first stretch of motorway opened.

Driving on a motorway can feel very different from driving on most other roads, and allowing learner drivers to drive on the motorway will give them a number of benefits including broader driving experience before taking their driving test, training on how to join and leave the motorway, overtake and use lanes correctly and give them confidence to drive on the motorway unsupervised after passing their driving test.

Transport minister, Jesse Norman, said: “The shocking fact is that younger drivers are up to seven times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than drivers over 25. Lack of experience contributes to their vulnerability. Allowing learners to drive on motorways, with the support of an experienced driving instructor, will help them to develop a practical understanding of how to use motorways safely, and it will prepare them to drive on them alone.”

The Department for Transport consulted on these changes in December 2016. They received widespread support from learner drivers, the driver training industry, road safety organisations and the general public. These changes apply to England, Wales and Scotland only.

Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for transport, Ken Skates said:

“I welcome any measures that offer learners the opportunity to increase the amount and variety of training that they receive pre-test. Allowing learner drivers to have the support of an approved driver instructor as they first negotiate the higher speeds and slip roads on a motorway will help to improve their confidence.”

DVSA chief executive, Gareth Llewellyn, added: “DVSA’s priority is to help you through a lifetime of safe driving. Our roads are among the safest in the world, but we’re determined to do more to make them safer. By allowing learners to have lessons on motorways, we are making sure learners get the skills and experience they need to drive on fast, busy roads.”

Only approved driving instructors with dual-controlled cars will be allowed to give motorway lessons. They will only do this if they are confident the learner has the skills and knowledge to drive on the motorway safely.