Transport sector responds to Liberal Democrats’ Manifesto

Following the launch of the Liberal Democrats’ political manifesto ahead of the General Election on 4 July, the RAC’s head of policy Simon Williams said: “We welcome promises of more money for local road maintenance, ensuring fuel prices are fair and additional support for the transition to electric vehicles, but without clear spending allocations it’s impossible to know just how much of this would actually result in any meaningful improvements for drivers.

“More than half (55%) of drivers tell us the high upfront cost of an electric vehicle is what prevents them from opting for one in the first place. A pledge to reinstate the plug-in car grant is very positive, as is a commitment to install more chargers on residential streets and more ultra-fast chargers at service stations.

“The promise to end the VAT charging disparity is particularly welcome, as currently those charging at home pay just 5% in stark contrast to those using public chargers who are hit with a 20% rate. This is something we, along with the FairCharge campaign, have long been calling for as it creates an unnecessary barrier to switching to an EV for those who can’t charge at home.

“We hope the reference to ‘more of the roads budget to local councils to maintain existing roads’ equates to proper long-term funding, which is what authorities so desperately need to bring our local roads back up to a fit-for-purpose state. Without this, we fear the amount of council road maintenance will continue to decline from its current five-year-low. We badly need to see more preventative maintenance that extends the lives of roads and more resurfacing to tackle the worst affected routes rather than just patching potholes and hoping for the best.”

In his response, Max Sugarman, Chief Executive of Intelligent Transport Systems UK (ITS UK), said: “It is good to see recognition of the importance of transport technology in the Liberal Democrat Manifesto, with commitments to integrate bus, rail and light rail ticketing systems, encourage ‘on-demand’ bus services where needed and provide greater support for local authorities with a joined up fund for transport improvements.

“As ITS UK’s Manifesto for the Future of Transport sets out, whether through demand responsive transport, data and AI or connected and automated mobility, technology has a key role to play in supporting our transport system, helping to deliver a more efficient, greener and safer network for all.”

Highways News will cover reactions to the other oarties’ manifestos as and when we receive them.


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