The result of the general election is likely to affect all car owners; gen up on the main parties’ views on the key concerns for motorists
5 June 2017

Politics and motoring go hand in hand, and on Thursday 8 June, when the British public votes in the general election, both face the potential for drastic change.

To gauge how the election results could impact motoring in Britain, we ask the country's three leading politcal parties 10 key questions.

DOES YOUR PARTY SUPPORT MOTORISTS?

Conservatives:

Yes. Under Theresa May’s strong and stable leadership, we will always be guided by what matters to the ordinary, working people.

Conservatives to ban combustion engine cars by 2050

Labour:

We do. Driving is the nation’s main and most favoured form of transport, and ensuring that motorists are supported is vital for securing economic growth and prosperity. We will support motorists and the automotive industry at every point.

Lib Dems:

We need investment in the roads to ensure that vehicles can keep travelling the length and breadth of the country. But there is too much congestion on our roads and we would like to see this eased by encouraging motorists onto other means of transport where possible.

Diesel car registrations slump by 20% in May

WHAT'S YOUR POLICY ON DIESEL EMISSIONS?

Conservatives: 

In the government’s May 2017 draft Air Quality Strategy, proposals included additional funding and regulatory changes to support alternatively fuelled vehicles, ‘Real Driving Emissions’ tests and scrappage schemes.

Labour:

We will tackle the air quality crisis with a robust clean air strategy involving challenging emissions reduction targets, a network of Clean Air Zones across the country and the introduction of schemes targeted at removing the most polluting buses.

Lib Dems:

Air quality has become a public health crisis and that is why we need to start looking at solutions to the problems created by NO2 emissions. We have set out a clear plan to introduce a scrappage scheme and to ban all diesel cars and small vans from UK roads by 2025.

HOW WILL YOU ENCOURAGE THE UPTAKE OF LOW-EMISSIONS VEHICLES?

Conservatives:

Since 2011 we have committed more than £2 billion to help a range of vehicles reduce emissions. Our 2017 manifesto pledges: “Our ambition is for Britain to lead the world in electric vehicle technology and use. We want almost every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050.”

Labour:

We would boost investment in the Office for Low Emission Vehicles to facilitate the uptake of automated and ultralow-emissions vehicles. We would also introduce legislation to help facilitate the uptake of ULEVs, such as introducing measures to standardise charge-points.

Lib Dems:

As part of the scrappage scheme we would provide incentives for switching to low-emissions vehicles. We would also introduce universal charging points to make charging far easier, and create more ultra-low-emission zones in towns and cities.

WHAT'S YOUR POLICY ON SPEED CAMERAS?

Conservatives:

Cameras should be visible and only be used for safety rather than revenue raising. The government has an ongoing programme to ensure that speed cameras are coloured yellow, so they are clearly visible.

Labour:

They will continue to play an important role in keeping motorists and pedestrians safe – and this should be the purpose of speed cameras. It is unfair for speed cameras to be used as a backdoor means of revenue collection.

Lib Dems:

Keeping people safe on our roads is fundamental. Speed cameras are an important part of providing deterrents to those driving at speeds that are not safe.

WHAT'S YOUR POLICY ON MANAGING TRAFFIC?

Conservatives:

We want to address the Labour government’s legacy of road humps, pinch points and poorly managed traffic lights that create congestion and pollution. Designing out and removing such obstructions can improve air quality and traffic flow.

Labour:

We will strive for a transport network with zero deaths. We will reintroduce road safety targets and establish an incident review unit to monitor road incidents. Road and infrastructure design and maintenance will be rooted in road safety for all road users.

Lib Dems:

We support more controls for local authorities over traffic management and enforcement, particularly in relation to the use of bus lanes, and put amendments down to the Bus Services Bill in the House of Lords to that effect, to encourage more bus use.

WHAT'S YOUR POLICY ON AUTONOMOUS CARS TESTING ON PUBLIC ROADS?

Conservatives:

We are leading the world in preparing for autonomous vehicles and will press ahead with our plans to use digital technology to improve our railways, so that our roads and tracks can carry more people more safely and more efficiently.

Labour:

We fully support it. We would look to bring forward legislation on the development and use of automated vehicles, including addressing insurance issues and consulting widely with the industry in order to ensure we put in place the most effective measures possible.

Lib Dems:

We are excited by the prospect and the improvements in this technology. Of course, these cars need to be tested in realistic settings to ensure they stand up to the greatest tests, but only when it is safe to do so and guided by industry and local authorities.

WHAT'S YOUR STANCE ON SUPPORTING/ENCOURAGING UK CAR MANUFACTURING?

Conservatives:

We have already demonstrated that in advanced manufacturing, such as aero and automotive engineering, we can lead the world. We will continue to support these key industries so that they can grow further.

Labour:

We will prioritise a Brexit deal that supports our automotive industry as part of a broader strategy of ensuring that the automotive sector has the skills and receives the support necessary to develop the cars of the future, that are safer, cleaner and UK-built. 

Lib Dems:

Changes are already taking place for a shift to cleaner energy to run our vehicles but this must become more widespread. Brexit creates great uncertainty for car manufacturers and it is a real threat that many could relocate away from the UK.

WHAT'S YOUR POLICY ON FUEL TAX?

Conservatives:

We will always be the party that keeps tax as low as possible and spends the proceeds responsibly. From 2020/21, all revenue raised from Vehicle Excise Duty in England will be allocated to a new Roads Fund and invested directly back into the strategic road network.

Labour:

The Conservatives’ changes to VED were poorly thought through and rightly criticised. We will make sure VED better supports the uptake of ultra-low-emission vehicles as well as investment in our local roads, helping to tackle the repairs backlog.

Lib Dems:

We have expressed concern at the rising costs of fuel due to Brexit and would like to see greater transparency in how and where our taxes are spent. Better funding is needed for local government to tackle local roads which have been badly neglected in the financial squeeze.

WOULD YOU BUILD NEW MOTORWAYS?

Conservatives:

We will continue to develop the strategic road network, providing extra lanes on our motorways and improving key routes while also paying attention to parts of the country left behind because of poor transport connections. We will continue to invest in roads to fix pinch points.

Labour:

We would. Labour will deliver continued investment in our strategic road network and we will instruct the National Infrastructure Commission to make an assessment of where future investment should be targeted in order to rebalance the economy throughout the country.

Lib Dems:

We have no plans to build new motorways but we would invest in improving our current infrastructure as we have many roads in poor condition and councils that don’t have enough money for basic maintenance like fixing potholes.

SHOULD VW HAVE GREATER SANCTIONS APPLIED FOLLOWING DIESELGATE?

Conservatives:

The Volkswagen scandal subsequently showed that deliberate cheating of the emissions tests was built into their vehicles. We will crack down on businesses who abuse the system; everyone should play by the same rules.

Labour:

Labour has been pressing on this for a long time and it seems that the Government have decided to let VW off the hook. It is crucial that we should take measures to secure remuneration from VW and that drivers are recompensed for any changes in efficiency or loss of residual value.

Lib Dems:

It is more important that lessons have been learned and that there is a behavioural change in the industry, rather than continuing to sanction VW.

Our Verdict

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Comments
7

5 June 2017
Labour: We will support motorists and the automotive industry at every point.

Does Corbyn drive? No.

5 June 2017
If you vote Conservative, we'll be lumbered with a hard Brexit. The UK auto industry will whither away, manufacturing that would have taken place in the UK shifting elsewhere. Investment lost, opportunities lost. The 1980s industrial decline all over again.

Not hilarious.

It is irrelevant whether Corbyn drives or not. He at least is offering an industrial strategy and to invest in education. My employer would welcome the chance to salvage access to skilled EU workers (the engineers that we seem not to train enough of in the UK) and the single market, which his negotiation stance can more likely deliver (in contrast to the hard-nosed "no deal better than a bad deal" stance exhibited by May, Bojo, Davis et al.

6 June 2017
Why doesn't your employer train up some automotive engineering apprentices?

Take them directly from school when they are 14 years old and get them intensively involved in design, development and manufacturing.

8 June 2017
" lumbered with a hard Brexit. The UK auto industry will whither away, ..." whithered, just like Ford's car production did whilst in the EU.

AutoIndustryInsider - shoot yourself in the foot again

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

5 June 2017
SmokingCoal wrote:

Labour: We will support motorists and the automotive industry at every point.

Does Corbyn drive? No.

Please elaborate.

6 June 2017
Car manufacturing should not be subsidised by UK taxpayers.

No business should receive UK taxpayer subsidies.

If a business cannot stand on its own two feet then it should be allowed to fold or be bought by a stronger rival.

6 June 2017
@autoindustryinsider "manufacturing that would have taken place in the UK shifting elsewhere" that would be happening even if Brexit had never existed. Just a matter of time.

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