Learner drivers in England, Wales and Scotland will be allowed to have lessons on the motorway by next year, the government has announced.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said lessons would be in a dual-control car with an approved driving instructor.

Currently, only those who have passed their test can drive on a motorway, but in 2015 the DfT said it would consider a law change.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the lessons would make UK roads safer.

He said: “Allowing learners to drive on motorways in a supportive environment will help them develop a practical understanding of how to use motorways safely before driving independently.”

Road deaths link

Mr Grayling said young drivers were more likely to be killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads – and a lack of experience was an “important factor”.

“The UK has some of safest roads in the world and we want to make them even safer,” he said.

There were 1,810 deaths on UK roads in the year to September 2016, in line with the previous year, according to provisional estimates published by the DfT.

In 2015, a DfT policy document suggested motorway lessons alongside a number of proposals, including increasing penalty points for using a mobile phone while driving and a £2m research programme to improve safety for inexperienced drivers.