General Election - which party has the best transport policies?

With May 7th looming ever closer, have you given much thought to which party you will be voting for, and what their policies will be?

We thought we’d take a closer look at the transport policies, to see if and how they might affect the courier business, the transport industry, and of course all of us. It makes for interesting reading.

For example, did you know that if UKIP managed to come to power they would scrap HS2, public toll roads and require foreign vehicles to purchase a Britdisc before entry into the UK?

The revenue from Britdiscs will be used to contribute to the upkeep of the UK’s roads – something you may agree needs more funding if we are ever to be a pothole fee nation!

UKIP will also ensure that speed cameras are used as a deterrent only and not a revenue raiser for local authorities, but with council departments strapped for cash, is that such a good idea?

Of keen interest to us are the Green party policies, most of which take a sweeping hand through the use of fossil fuelled vehicles. Interestingly, they recommend that transport companies share loads, and encourage back journeys to move goods more efficiently - a policy we adopt already, to offer the most cost effective movement of our clients’ consignments as we possibly can.

However, the planned increase in fuel tax, vehicle purchase tax, road charging and parking levies will inevitably affect the cost of running practically every business, and the goods we all buy – is it a price we are willing to pay for a cleaner, quieter, environment?

Labour’s policies focus mainly on reducing the costs of using public transport, with little reference to the state of our roads, or what they would do to repair the 2262 miles of local roads badly in need of repair. They’d put a cap on rail fare increases and devolve regional transport decision making.

The Liberal Democrats on the other hand, are staunch supporters of HS2 and indeed are pushing hard for HS3 – to promote prosperity in the North. And hot off the press is their announcement that they would introduce 10Mph zones outside schools and a ban on high emission vehicles by 2040. How this affects the transport industry is not discussed in this announcement, which focuses on the benefits of cleaner, greener transport policies.

These include

  • Fast tracking support for the electric vehicle market
  • Increased vehicle duty taxation for heavier polluting vehicles
  • Direct road user charging models

In short, they want a people-centred, sustainable safe travel system including promotion of more cycling. Can this help the economy grow? The Lib Dems think so.

And lastly we take a look at Conservative transport policies. They will push ahead with Smart ticketing (as will all parties), the electronic cards that give passengers easy access to different buses, trains and other public transport without the need for a paper ticket.

They’re also behind HS2 of course, having implemented the plan, and intend to extend the freeze on fuel duty into the next Parliament. They have a long term plan to reduce the cost of the Severn Bridge crossings – a policy we say can’t come soon enough. And their plans to improve transport links to assist the building of a Northern Powerhouse will extend to other parts of the UK, including West Yorkshire.

All in all, nothing really remarkable in the above you might say. Perhaps the most radical approach comes from the Green Party, but maybe we’d expect that anyway.

What would you vote for? Any party that helps us keep our costs down will be a vote winner for us. No doubt there’ll be more announcements in the coming weeks so we’ll sit on the fence for now and wait and see.