General Election 2017: who says what about transport?

Casting a ballot at a polling station in the general election
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You can’t have missed the news that Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap general election- to happen in less than 2 months time! It may seem like Brexit Referendum #2, but there’s much more going on than just Britain’s departure from the European Union.

What does each party have planned for transport? We checked out their policies.

Conservative Party

Chris Grayling is the current Secretary of State for Transport, and is someone we’ve seen in the news a fair amount – talking HS2, diesel cars, and rail strikes. Key points from the Conservatives long-term plan are:

  • Supporting the third runway at London Heathrow Airport
  • Supporting the construction of the HS2 rail line
  • £1.2 billion extra spending to repair potholes in roads and cut congestion
  • £75 million of this money will be available for councils to bid for – to repair and maintain local infrastructure (not just roads, but bridges and street lights too)
  • Incentivising electric vehicle purchase
  • Improving transport links to help people access work, school and services.

Norfolk Tory MP George Freeman has visited the Liftshare office, and promoted car sharing through his email newsletter.

Labour Party

You’d be forgiven for thinking London Mayor Sadiq Khan was the Shadow Transport Minister, as he’s taken up a lot of column inches talking transport in London; preparing new plans and trials to cut down on congestion and air pollution in the capital. But, the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport is actual;y Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald.

Labour’s plans for transport are:

  • Bringing the rail network back into public ownership
  • Improving affordability, availability and access of/to public transport options
  • Handing funding for public transport to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), who will be responsible for serving their community
  • Delivering road maintenance and improvements at a lower cost
  • Using London as an example for successful transport management.

Norwich Labour MP Clive Lewis has visited the Liftshare office, and promoted car sharing through his Twitter account and at various speaking engagements. He’s even been down our slide!

Liberal Democrats

The Lib Dems don’t cover much on transport on their website, but what they do say is here:

  • Phasing out diesel vehicles
  • Fast tracking support for the electric vehicle market with a full network of charging points by 2040
  • Implementing recommendations from the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report
  • Updating planning law to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport
  • Opposing any increase to the national speed limit
  • Giving local authorities the power to reduce 20mph limits to 10mph outside schools
  • Reviewing all road transport taxation.

Scottish National Party (SNP)

Scotland has a lot of green space, and has consistently hit carbon-reduction targets for the last few years. The SNP’s policies include:

  • Implementing the largest transport investment programme that Scotland has ever seen – over £20bn into infrastructure, and £5bn in rail improvements, and £1.4bn in road improvements
  • Investing in walking and cycling, and have 10% of all journeys in Scotland carried out by bike, by 2020
  • Securing a public sector bid for all future rail franchises
  • Reducing Air Passenger Duty tax by 50%.

Green Party

The Greens, unsurprisingly, have a low-carbon stance on transport, with lots of plans for making things, well, greener.

  • Bringing the rail network back into public ownership
  • Introducing an immediate 10% cut in rail ticket prices
  • Promoting walking and cycling
  • Making transport equitably accessible to all people irrespective of their age, wealth or disability, with local needs given priority over travelling greater distances
  • Encouraging modal shift to sustainable options.

Ex-leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett, and local Green councillor for Norwich, Lesley Grahame, have both visited the Liftshare office.

Plaid Cymru

Wales has lots of rural areas that can be quite easily isolated without strong transport links. Plaid’s plans include:

  • Support for public ownership of the railway network
  • Fully integrating all transport services in Wales
  • Re-opening the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen railway and other closed lines
  • Investment in new light railway networks
  • Investment in safe walking and cycling routes.

UK Independence Party (UKIP)

Jill Seymour is a UKIP MEP and has recently become a patron for the Alliance of British Drivers. She’s spoken several times of UKIP’s transport plans, which include:

  • Scrapping all plans for the HS2 rail line
  • Remove all existing toll roads and block plans for any future toll roads
  • Scrapping all subsidies for electric cars
  • Scrapping the Certificate of Practical Competence for lorry drivers
  • Keeping concessionary bus passes for the elderly and disabled
  • Rolling back the VED exemption for classic vehicles to 25 years.

Sinn Fein

Northern Irish party Sinn Fein don’t talk much about transport on their website, but the main points in their plans are:

  • Reversing cuts to rural transport options throughout Northern Ireland
  • Reviewing all loss-making public transport routes to investigate over-saturation of the market in some areas
  • Preventing the privatisation of public bus franchises
  • Focusing on providing public transport for those with disabilities and/or limited mobility
  • Deliver a clear road-map to hit carbon targets.

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)

The DUP too have a mix of areas to deal with – both built-up and rural neighbourhoods across quite a small county. The Democratic Unionist’s priorities include:

  • Investing in a range of infrastructure projects, primarily roads
  • Introducing new buses routes, bus stations, and park and ride facilities across the country
  • Speeding up development of the Belfast Transport Hub and Rapid Transit Scheme
  • Integrating bus and rail ticketing
  • Enhancing links between Northern Ireland and London airports.

Ulster Unionist Party (UUP)

Another Northern Irish party with a tough job to keep the island moving, the UUP are prioritising:

  • Funding a public transport network that is accessible, affordable and reliable
  • Promoting cycling-friendly cities that support growth of sustainable transport
  • Retaining the concessionary fares scheme
  • Investing in a range of ambitious infrastructure projects to keep the country moving.

Social Democratic and Labour Party (SLDP)

SDLP don’t talk transport too much on their website yet, but their beliefs are clear:

  • Translink, as a public body, must justify fare increases that it has imposed on commuters
  • Will press for the infrastructure for adequate public transport for rural communities
  • Believes high quality public transport and road improvements are a key part of stimulating economy.

 

Will transport have an impact on your vote this GE? Let us know in the comments below!

Author Lex Barber

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