What is Each Party’s Take on Motoring Policies Ahead of the General Election?
We’re only days away from the 2019 Election, as the Conservative and Labour parties ramp up their efforts to win a majority in Parliament. That will enable either party to govern fully; implementing the full spectrum of their promised policies outlined in their election manifestos.
If you’ve been following the General Election fanfare closely, you’re probably aware that both parties are making some bold promises as part of their plan to win over ‘floating’ or undecided voters.
Among these pledges are commitments on UK motoring policies. If you fall into the ‘floating voter’ camp and would like to know more about each party’s stance on motoring policy and issues affecting drivers, Rivervale’s got you covered. Today, we’re highlighting the promises made by both the Conservative and Labour parties, when it comes to making UK roads safer, better and more environmentally-friendly.
Labour Party: 2019 transport pledges
No new petrol/diesel car sales by 2030
As part of Labour’s commitment to tackling the emergency that is climate change, leader Jeremy Corbyn aims to end the sale of road vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2030. That follows a similar trend adopted by the Danish government and at least ten other countries in the EU. The Labour Party says it will liaise closely with the UK car industry, as well as trade unions, to decide what else is needed to achieve this target.
Focus on UK’s ultra-low emission vehicle sales
The Labour Party wants to place the UK at the front and centre of the manufacture and development of ultra-low emission vehicles while supporting sales of these across the country. Labour has acknowledged the vital role that fleets will play in ushering in this new wave of ULEVs. Their manifesto also pledges to remove the £320 Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) surcharge on all EVs bought for £40,000 and above for five years.
Vision Zero approach to road safety
Within the Labour manifesto, its election motoring stance also deals with road safety. It will implement an “ambitious” Vision Zero approach to safety on Britain’s roads. The overarching target will be to achieve zero deaths and severe injuries on the road. Labour will subsequently invest heavily in ensuring neglected local roads, pavements and cycle paths are safer for drivers and vulnerable road users.
Clean Air Act proposed
If the Labour Party obtain a majority in Parliament, they will seek to introduce a Clean Air Act as part of their Queen’s Speech. The act would include a host of new clean air zones across the country, designed to comply with existing limitations set by the World Health Organization (WHO) for nitrous oxides and fine particles. Labour would also implement a new vehicle scrappage scheme, which would have a dual purpose of driving sales of new ultra-low emission vehicles.
Review of all tolled crossings
Labour’s motoring manifesto also indicates that it could look to scrap toll charges for all river crossings in England. At the time of writing, there are ten river crossings in England that drivers currently have to pay to use. The most commonly used toll road is the Dartford Crossing between Essex and Kent. A thorough review of all “tolled crossings” will be undertaken if Labour takes power. The AA has led the calls for the Government to scrap the ‘Dart Charge’ on the Dartford Crossing for several years, claiming that the building costs of the original bridge are now paid off.
Conservative Party: 2019 transport pledges
Continued investment in the UK’s EV charging network
As part of the Conservatives’ motoring policies, Boris Johnson is pledging to embark upon a “transport revolution”. Some £1 billion will be set aside to invest in the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Mr Johnson wants to ensure that fast-chargers are readily accessible for electric cars and vans, with no driver to be further than 30 miles from the nearest EV fast-charging station. In truth, the £1 billion investment is only £500 million, with £400 million already pledged as part of the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF).
The UK’s largest ever pothole-filling programme
The Conservatives are promising to spend £2 billion on the UK’s largest pothole-filling programme, designed to improve the quality of local roads across the country. A four-year plan would see £500 million committed annually. That would give local authorities the ability to maintain their region’s motorways and organise their own repairs. Whether this will be enough to remedy the issue long-term remains to be seen. Particularly as the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) previously said it would cost £9.7 billion to repair all of the potholes in England and Wales.
Consultations on phasing out new petrol/diesel vehicles
If the Conservative Party gains power, it says it’s committed to consulting on the earliest possible date that the UK’s automotive industry can phase out the sale of brand-new petrol and diesel-powered vehicles. The consultation would ensure a realistic date is set to avoid disruption to drivers and businesses.
£28.8bn investment in ‘strategic’ and local roads
This allocation was already mooted at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. The party pledges to provide £28.8 billion of investment in strategic and local roads as part of a National Roads Fund. The funding would be spread between 2020-25 and seek to improve connectivity between cities, towns and villages, ensuring no region is “left behind”.
Review of hospital car parking
Boris Johnson is committed to removing NHS hospital car parking charges for millions of people nationwide. The proposals in the Conservative manifesto states that parking would be free for disabled patients, frequent outpatient users and parents of ill children admitted to hospital overnight (as well as staff on night shifts).
One thing is for sure, whichever party assumes power on Friday 13th December, our nation’s roads will be a major focus of Government policy in the months ahead to drive the economy and tackle climate change.
How will each of these policies affect you?
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