The brevity of the general election period has restricted lobbying time on transport matters – and there’s plenty to discuss considering it’s becoming an election for radical ideas. So what’s on the cards?
Labour is prioritising public transport with rail privatisation and enabling local councils to take public ownership of bus networks. It wants to “achieve the substantial majority” of net zero carbon emissions by 2030 (a watered-down pledge from its September annual conference), with a ban on petrol and diesel cars, loans to help people buy electric cars and investment in the charging infrastructure.
But, it will also invest in roads while adopting a Vision Zero approach to road safety, striving for zero deaths and serious injuries – it’s the only party to focus on safety. This supports previous Fleet News campaigns for the introduction of safety targets.
The Lib Dems are keen to reduce car use through investment in cycling/walking, price freezes in rail and infrastructure investment in public transport. The party will commit to a net zero emissions target of 2045 and will tax, subsidise and regulate people into ultra-low emission vehicles.
Like, Labour, it has pledged that every new car and small van will be electric by 2030 (VAT on EVs will be cut to 5%). It has also committed to World Health Organisation guidelines on air quality, a central tenet of the Fleet News/UK 100 Clean Air Declaration.
The Green Party will also bring forward a ban on petrol and diesel to 2030, leaving the Conservatives (at the time of writing) as the only party sticking to the original 2040 deadline.
Noteworthy policies include preventing insurers from offering cover beyond the expiry date of the MOT certificate or the end of the exemption period.
Road charging is firmly on the Greens’ agenda – the only party to make a commitment. Initially, this would be in highly congested and polluted areas. However, it wouldn’t be deployed in areas where it risks displacing traffic to other roads, especially in built-up areas.
As we went to press, the Conservative Party had not released its manifesto, although there has been plenty of campaign-trail rhetoric about plug-in vehicles.
No one has tried to clarify next year’s BIK rates, but it is highly unlikely the new Government will start fiddling with company car tax given the short timescales until its introduction.