General Election 2019: Here’s Where The Parties Stand On Motoring

There’s a General Election around the corner. Whilst Brexit will no doubt be the central issue, most of the parties fielding candidates have revealed their policies on motorists and motoring. Here’s where they stand…

The Labour Party

Under Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party has developed a tradition of revealing unexpected and far-reaching policies at the last moment. For instance, it’s just been announced that it intends to provide everyone with free broadband. According to documents allegedly obtained by the Conservative Party, Labour has a number of plans for motoring in the country. These documents claim that the Party wants a 60% reduction in vehicle mileage under what it calls a “large and rapid” shift away from car use. It also wants to bring about net zero carbon emissions by 2030 – twenty years earlier than the Conservatives. Other policies mentioned in the documents include a reduction to the speed limit, increases to duel duty, a road pricing scheme and a cessation of road building schemes.

The Conservative And Unionist Party

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for a General Election to end the deadlock in Parliament; and to win a majority so the Conservatives can proceed with their Brexit plans. Naturally, then, this issue is at the heart of the campaign, hence the campaign slogan “Get Brexit Done. Unleash Britain’s Potential”. However, Johnson has touched upon transport policy. He’s spoken of bringing about a “green energy revolution” and promised to invest £500 million in fast-chargers for electric cars and vans. He pledged that under a Tory government, no one would be more than 30 miles away from charging infrastructure. As it stands, that’s all we know. Although Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has previously pledged to invest in widespread improvements to the road network.

The Liberal Democrats 

The Liberal Democrats are building their campaign on the notion that they are the party of Remain. As a result, their focus lies with keeping the country in the European Union; revoking Article 50 and holding another referendum on this issue. All we know in terms of transport and the automotive industry is that the party wants to bring forward the petrol and diesel ban to 2030 currently set for 2040; that’d mean it’d be illegal to buy a new diesel or petrol car in just over a decade.

The Scottish National Party

Like so many other parties, Brexit is a major topic for the SNP. But, more specifically, its part in the narrative of Scottish independence. Party leader Nicola Sturgeon wants another referendum and, ultimately, to take the country out of the unitary-state. With this being the party’s central focus, it hasn’t made any other policy pledges, including any that concern transport or motoring. Recently, however, it made an agreement with the Greens in the Scottish Parliament to introduce powers allowing councils to administer workplace parking levies.

Plaid Cymru 

Plaid Cymru is to Wales what the SNP is to Scotland. It wants Welsh independence, but to be remain a part of the European Union. It claims that the UK is lagging behind its neighbours in adopting electric vehicles and investing in charging infrastructure. The party wants the Welsh government to do more to make EVs attractive to drivers in the country. In addition, it claims Wales has been “short-changed” in the transport budget. Generally speaking, however, the party is less clear on its views concerning investment; with there being some ambivalence towards building new roads.

The Green Party Of England And Wales

Environmentalism and ecology are the guiding principles of the Green Party. So it’s not at all surprising that they have a number of policies geared specifically towards motoring and transport. On its website, it claims that it wants to “reduce the number of journeys made by unsustainable modes of transport, particularly by car and aeroplane”. The General Election hasn’t long been in full swing, so like many other parties they’ve yet to release a manifesto. But it’s clear that the party has some stringent ideas for motoring; it’ll need them, given that it wants net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The Brexit Party

Party leader Nigel Farage has announced that no manifesto will be released as a part of the General Election campaign. He’s also pledged not to field candidates in seats won by Conservatives in the last election. The number it’s contesting as a result, then, is small. Its entire campaign is directed at challenging Labour in its heartlands and gaining a number of seats to put pressure on the Conservatives. In terms of transport, the Party has said that it’ll cancel the HS2 rail project and that it’ll invest in infrastructure outside of London; in terms of what this actually means, it’s anyone’s guess.

UK Independence Party

UKIP’s leader, Richard Braine, resigned at the start of the General Election campaign. Naturally, this has left the fiercely Brexiteer party in a less than ideal position. It’ll only be fielding a small number of candidates across the country. Its website, however, does have a page dedicated to transport and motoring policy. It’s opposed to road pricing and wants to repeal all tolls. It argues that “road users are already overtaxed and should not be paying twice to use our roads”. It wants to completely scrap the smart motorway format, invest in repairing potholes and scrap low-emission zones; claiming these “discriminate” against diesel car owners. The party has, however, suggested that it’ll invest in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

Democratic Unionist Party

You’d probably never heard of the DUP until it propped up Theresa May’s government back in 2017. It’s fiercely Unionist and wants Northern Ireland to be treated as any other part of the UK. However, it’s since fallen out with Boris Johnson’s government as it disagrees with the Brexit deal its put forward. In terms of motoring, all we know is that the party wants to invest in road building and improving the quality of public transport.

Labour Is ‘Committing’ To Electric Vehicles And Charging Infrastructure –

Electric Cars May Be Taxed On Road Use To Cover Fuel Revenue Losses –

Has Expensive Parking Killed Off The High Street? –

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