We analyse Conservative's transport policy; transport spokesperson's election pledge to the motorist
6 May 2010

What has the Conservative party done in the past?

The Tories have traditionally pitched themselves as the motorist’s friend and the 1980s government famously praised the “great car economy”.

- Industrial policy attracted transplant car factories, which boosted Britain’s car industry.

- During their 18-year stretch in office in the ’80s and ’90s, the Tories encouraged motorway building and finished the M25 and M40. They also triggered the Birmingham Northern Relief toll road, which arrived 24 years later.

- But the support for roads created hardcore green opposition and violent protests marked the end of new m-ways.

- Then chancellor Ken Clarke introduced the fuel tax escalator and the Tories even proposed local road-charging schemes using windscreen-mounted smart cards.

- Speed cameras and speed humps were also introduced under the Conservatives, although they later said they regretted the way they had been deployed by some local councils.

- The Conservatives also decriminalised parking offences in 1991, sparking a massive rise in the number of fines issued by local councils, who see the application of ever-more obscure parking regulations as a cash cow.

Statement from Tory transport spokesperson Theresa Villiers

"A Conservative government will take action on the causes of unnecessary driving hassle by making the people who dig up our roads accountable for the congestion caused.

“We would give people the chance to campaign for the removal of excessive traffic lights and support innovation from local councils to get traffic flowing smoothly. We will also crack down on rogue clampers by regulating the industry.

“We would consult on a fair fuel stabiliser to cut fuel duty when oil prices rise. This will ensure families and businesses are less exposed to volatile oil markets.

“We say enough is enough to new fixed speed cameras. The government’s own studies show that they are not the best way of keeping our roads safe. So a Conservative government would not fund any new fixed speed cameras.

“We’ll also give the energy companies incentives to install charging points to help people switch to greener electric cars.”

Click here to read Labour's track record on transport, plus a statement from the current transport ministerClick here to read the Liberal Democrats' track record on transport, plus a statement from its transport spokesperson

Join the debate

Comments
11

4 May 2010

[quote Autocar]- Then chancellor Ken Clarke introduced the fuel tax escalator[/quote]

Although no fan of the fuel tax escalator, when Labour (Gordon Brown) took us off it he stuck fuel tax in the lift instead! Taxes rose faster than they would have if they'd still been on the escalator.

4 May 2010

To be honest, this seems far and away the most sensible set of solutions I've seen yet. Far better than the Lily-livered Democrats or the Labour Party... still don't like the outlook on battery electric cars, but there you go.

4 May 2010

I honestly can't understand anyone voting Labour, and putting the Lib dems in charge right now would be like hiring the guy from the mailroom to save a company from bankruptcy, it would be a popular move at first with the workers cause everyone likes him and he would say the right things about fairness and try to give all the canteen staff a pay rise. After his fist couple of days though everyone would have their head in their hands. We need to stop spending money right now and everyone, not just the rich, need to pay a bit more tax or have fewer handouts, the party who know how to do this are the Conservatives. I'm not partisan at all, honest.

4 May 2010

There is not one politician out there who could be called the motorists friend.

But after the attacks we have had from Labour for 13 years with tax, cameras, humps, allowing councils to reduce speed limits, suspension of the 25 year road tax exemption, introduction of a showroom tax, etc, i cant see how anyone who cares about motoring could vote for them.

The Liberal have said before they would raise motoring taxes further. Their local councils are the most agressive at putting in humps and cameras.

Of the major parties that leave the Conservatives. Hardly the motorists friend, but probably the best of a bad bunch at the moment.

5 May 2010

[quote artill]Of the major parties that leave the Conservatives. Hardly the motorists friend, but probably the best of a bad bunch at the moment. [/quote]

I would echo that-Just the best of a bad bunch

5 May 2010

But this doesn't mention what was probably the single biggest ever reverse in the UK roads programme - the Tories' abandonment in 1996 of the plans set out in their own 1989 Roads for Prosperity white paper, which saw the withdrawal of huge numbers of schemes including the planned upgrade of the A1 to motorway from London to Newcastle (small elements of which have been reinstated).

Of course, the programme was subject to further delay and pruning by Labour after 1997 but the really big cuts had already been done by then.

Has anyone done any research for this at all?

5 May 2010

[quote roadtester]Has anyone done any research for this at all?[/quote]

I'm inspired to see that behind the blind, hollow Lib-Lab hype, there could still be a country mostly packed with sensible people. We'll see just how many there are by Friday morning.

However, the quote from RoadTester clearly demonstrates how dangerous a little bit of knowledge combined with a dollop of complacent and fervent sectarianism can be.

The Roads to Prosperity White Paper was set out as an intention which was partly dismantled not through the Conservatives having offered a deliberately empty promise, but through social impact consultation, transport trends and environmental concerns causing a reassessment of the policy. GDP's relation to road usage shifted disproportionately from the mid-1990s, and the use of rail freight increased significantly in relation to road usage.

I think the Roads to Prosperity White Paper could be said to be an indication of Conservative amenity to ideas that will allow the country to prosper, with the subsequent demonstration that no authoritarian fanaticism prohibited a practical realignment of its policy according to a shifting context.

All this speaks to precisely why people shouldn't pander to Clegg's clarion instruction to the casually ignorant and transiently zealous that they should use this outrageous first-past-the-post system (that has allowed this country to prosper under Tory reconstruction and survive for years while Europe has reached a point of near-implosion) to vote-in a bunch of crackpot policies that will cause fractured wrangling, possibly in court, while months are spent trying to cobble a hung Government to sort-out what is an extremely serious crisis.

Through opportunist conflation, He - our Lord Clegg - claims his hip-thrusting popularity is mostly due to the country's sudden, spontaneous hankering after a PR system that has been roundly dismissed by the electorate for forty years. That is simply a rancid distortion of the phenomenon we've briefly seen before us, and if anyone thinks this election is most importantly about Nick Clegg's desperate grab for power and promotion of PR, they should remember 900,000 criminals (by definition) being given an amnesty, knife crime dismissed as nothing more than frightened self-preservation and left unpunished, a Clobber Tax of the loathsome greedy populous who dares to live in £2m houses (previously directed at £1m properties and retracted). They need to remember that our saviour Clegg, on a wave of messianic fervour identical to that which brought Blair to power, was until recently an avid proponent of entry into the Euro. He now shamelessly lies with the mealy-mouthed words: "I do not now support entering the Euro."

If you vote for this man, you deserve everything you will get. Unfortunately, the rest of us will suffer with you.

It's not even worth mentioning the Bigot-Buster Brown and his sleazy cronies.

We need to free this country from the oppressive politics of spite, incompetence and waste that has besieged us for thirteen years - three of which with unmandated leadership. It's my perception than this Conservative Party will work best for the whole of society, not through slogans, but by its clear-spirited pragmatism and genuine compassion in pursuit of values that are perceived universally and not received dogmatically.

5 May 2010

I hate all politicians ... they are all tossers. However some are big liars as well. My views are these:-

Tories - Toffs, but honest ... we will look after the rich, give little help to the poor and will screw the middle.

Labour - Champagne socialists ... i.e. hypocrites. We will look after the rich, rape the middle to raise a new class of 'poor' who are actually better off than the real working class who get screwed. Will also lie about everything.

Liberals - Combination of both of the above, i.e. potentially the worst of the lot because they have never actually been in power.

So on that basis if my vote actually mattered (surprise ... despite living in Gloucester 1.5 miles to the city centre, in the city limits ... paying my council tax to Gloucester City .... my MP is in Tewkesbury .... 12 miles away ... could it have anything to do with Labour seat Gloucester not wanting swing Tory voters in middle class Longlevens voting in this marginal and instead assigning us to true blue Tewkesbury .... surely not) I would vote Tory just to get rid of the lying Labour hypocritical parasites.

5 May 2010

[quote Cheltenhamshire]

I hate all politicians ... they are all tossers. However some are big liars as well. My views are these:-

Tories - Toffs, but honest ... we will look after the rich, give little help to the poor and will screw the middle.

Labour - Champagne socialists ... i.e. hypocrites. We will look after the rich, rape the middle to raise a new class of 'poor' who are actually better off than the real working class who get screwed. Will also lie about everything.

Liberals - Combination of both of the above, i.e. potentially the worst of the lot because they have never actually been in power.

So on that basis if my vote actually mattered (surprise ... despite living in Gloucester 1.5 miles to the city centre, in the city limits ... paying my council tax to Gloucester City .... my MP is in Tewkesbury .... 12 miles away ... could it have anything to do with Labour seat Gloucester not wanting swing Tory voters in middle class Longlevens voting in this marginal and instead assigning us to true blue Tewkesbury .... surely not) I would vote Tory just to get rid of the lying Labour hypocritical parasites.

[/quote]

Typical reactionary nonsense, I'm afraid. I can certainly say that my Tory MP (who is actually a New Zealander, and a dentist by profession) is an extraordinarily hardworking person, works nightmarish hours for none-too-generous pay (when you consider that his salary also has to cover researchers, etc), and he was untouched by the expenses scandal (I think he had to pay back £110 because of a particularly draconian retrospective change in the rules). This is a very safe Tory seat, and with good reason. The neighbouring constituency of Guildford is much more marginal, but the MP there, Anne Milton, junior shadow minister for health, and herself a nurse in the NHS for 26 years, works herself ragged and, if I remember correctly, hasn't had to pay a penny back in expenses. She's certainly been dubbed an "expenses saint" by the papers... meanwhile, her Lib Dem predecessor, who is fighting the seat again, is not such a saint, nor as nice a person IMHO. She certainly hasn't got the people skills or on-the-ground experience that Anne Milton has. I know this much, that as long as Anne Milton is an MP (it might not be for much longer - the supposedly neutral Electoral Commission has shifted the boundaries, reducing her majority to just 89 votes!), the Tories won't neglect the poor or screw the middle. Her constituents are almost all lower-middle-class or working class.

Mind you, I think I agree with you on Labour. Hopeless incompetent idiots. At least the Lib Dems have Vince Cable and Ming Campbell on board, neither of whom is stupid, they're very astute - but I don't like Nick Clegg, I think he's shallow and two-dimensional.

5 May 2010

I can't believe people are sucked in by Nick Clegg, all I've seen is schmoozing and smalm from him over the three debates (Yes I watched them all). Gordon seems totally lacking in any conviction in his on screen debates and in front of life long Labour voters and while I don't see eye to eye on all matters David Cameron seems to have a better grasp of what the voters want.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK