CHANGES to motoring laws to allow learners to drive on the motorway have been welcomed by a school of motoring trainer.

From June, provisional licence holders will be able to drive on motorways with an approved driving instructor (ADI) using a dual controlled car displaying L plates.

Currently the first experience motorists have of driving on motorways comes once they have passed their test.

Adrian Coucher, ADI development and training at Ellisons School of Motoring, said: "I believe that this change to allow fully qualified ADIs, using dual control cars, to take their pupils onto the motorway to be a very positive and long overdue step forward.

"At present newly qualified drivers are able to go onto the motorway without any additional guidance or training.

"With this change their instructor can introduce them to motorway driving in a controlled way, once they are at a stage that they are able to cope with the higher speeds.

"It is not possible to make motorway driving part of the test as not all areas of the UK have access to motorways in their area, so this is in my opinion the next best thing."

Highways England, the body responsible for Britain’s motorways and strategic A roads, says the law change will help develop a smarter generation of motorway road users.

It will allow ADIs to teach learners about the specific set of skills associated with using the motorways safely in a practical situation.

Head of road safety at Highways England Richard Leonard said: "Safety is our top priority and we welcome today’s change which will help equip learner drivers to drive safely on motorways when they have passed their tests.

"We look forward to supporting the motorway drivers of tomorrow as they develop these new driving skills and get invaluable practical knowledge and experience of using motorways."

The changes will allow learner drivers to: •get broader driving experience before taking their driving test, •get training on how to join and leave the motorway, overtake and use lanes correctly, •practise driving at higher speeds and, •put their theoretical knowledge into practice.

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said: "By allowing learners to have lessons on motorways, we are modernising driver training and making sure learners get the skills and experience they need to drive on fast, busy roads."