What have the Liberal Democrats done in the past?
The Liberal Democrats have never formed a government, but their attitude towards drivers is well reflected by Lib Dem local councils.
- Most famously, the Lib Dem council in Richmond, south-west London, has introduced parking and resident permit charges based on CO2 emissions.
- The policy was to “change behaviour” and force families out of large-engined vehicles, even though parked vehicles emit no pollutants.
- Zealous control of parking has been a Lib Dem favourite since the mid-2000s, when Islington council went on a de-parking rampage. It removed road-side parking spaces and hiked-up charges. Draconian enforcement ratcheted up the number of fines.
- Local businesses began a vociferous protest, claiming that trade was being hit because shoppers could no longer visit by car.
- The council was later voted out of office, with many commentators suggesting that handing out expensive fines to local drivers proved a vote loser.
Statement from transport spokesperson Norman Baker
“We believe that maintaining the existing road network is essential and that sometimes there is a good economic case for building new roads locally. That is why we supported pledges to put more money into fixing potholes and would not cut the regional funding allocation for building strategic roads.
“However, we would require any new roads to meet strict economic and environmental criteria and are very wary of building huge new national motorways that can end up actually increasing traffic, cut through the green belt and damage the environment.