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Manifestos: Transport and infrastructure

Manifestos: Transport and infrastructure Brian A Jackson
Where do the parties stand on transport and infrastructure?

CONSERVATIVE

• Plan to invest over £100billion in our infrastructure over the next Parliament.

• Will create a ‘Northern powerhouse’ by connecting up the North with modern transport links. Will enable its great cities and towns to pool their strengths.

• Invest a record £13billion in transport for the North. Will electrify the main rail routes, build the Northern hub, and provide new trains for the North.

• Upgrade the A1, M62, M1 and A555 link road on top of £50billion commitment to build High Speed 2 – the new North-South railway linking up London with the West Midlands, Leeds and Manchester – and develop High Speed 3 to join up the North.

• Improve rail connections to East Anglia, delivering ‘Norwich in 90 minutes’ and ‘Ipswich in 60 minutes’ and upgrade key roads like the A11 and A47.

• Invest over £2billion electrifying railways.

• Invest £38billion in the railway network in the five years to 2019.

• Complete the construction of the new east-west Crossrail across Greater London, and push forward with plans for Crossrail 2, a new rail route running through London and connecting Surrey and Hertfordshire.

• Back business by investing a record £5.2billion in better transport, upgrading the M1 and M6 and electrifying the Midland main line from St Pancras to Sheffield.

• Invest £15billion in roads. This will include over £6billion in the northern road network, with the dualling and widening of the A1 north of Newcastle and the first new trans-Pennine road capacity in over 40 years.

• Take action to ‘tackle some of the most notorious and long-standing problems on our road network’, including improvements to the A303, A47 and A27. Will add 1,300 extra lane miles to roads, improve over 60 problem junctions, and continue to provide enough funding to fix around 18 million potholes nationwide between 2015 and 2021.

• Aim for almost every car and van to be a zero emission vehicle by 2050 – investing £500million over the next five years to achieve it.

• Double the number of journeys made by bicycle and invest over £200million to make cycling safer. Will reduce the number of cyclists and other road users killed or injured on our roads every year.

• Deliver the National Infrastructure Plan and respond to the Airports Commission’s final report.

LABOUR

• Create certainty for investors by taking a long-term approach to the major investment decisions facing the country.

• Set up an independent National Infrastructure Commission to assess how best to meet Britain’s infrastructure needs. It will make recommendations to government, monitor their implementation, and hold government to account.

• Continue to support the construction of High Speed 2, but keep costs down, and take action to improve and expand rail links across the North to boost its regional economies.

• Support long-term investment in strategic roads, address the neglect of local roads, and promote cycling.

• Following the Davies Review, make a swift decision on expanding airport capacity in London and the Southeast, balancing the need for growth and the environmental impact.

• Labour Fare freeze for a year. Strict cap on every route for every future fare rises. The cost will be funded by switching spending within the existing transport budget from delaying road projects on the A27 and A358 for which the economic case is still uncertain.

• Support long-term investment in strategic roads, address the neglect of local roads, and promote cycling.

airport2Data from the Airport Commission (Image: notmyvote)

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

• Deliver the Transport for the North strategy to promote growth, innovation and prosperity across northern England.

• Develop a comprehensive plan to electrify the majority of the UK rail network, reopen smaller stations, restore twin-track lines to major routes and proceed with HS2, as the first stage of a high-speed rail network to Scotland.

• Complete East-West rail, connecting up Oxford and Cambridge and catalysing major new housing development.

• Develop more modern, resilient links to and within the Southwest peninsula to help develop and diversify the regional economy.

• Set a clear objective to shift more freight from road to rail.

• Ensure airport infrastructure meets the needs of a modern and open economy, without allowing emissions from aviation to undermine a goal of a zero-carbon Britain by 2050.

• Remain opposed to any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport in the Thames Estuary, because of local issues of air and noise pollution. Will ensure no net increase in runways across the UK.

• Carry out a review of bus funding and bus policies and introduce a five-year investment plan to give the industry and Local Authorities certainty and help plan investment. Support local areas that want to bring forward plans for regulating the bus network in their area.

• Give new powers to Local Authorities and communities to improve transport in their areas, including the ability to introduce network-wide ticketing as in London.

• Support the expansion of smart ticketing systems.

• Encourage the market for electric vehicles, including targeted support for buses, taxis and light freight, and early requirements to use low emission vehicles in the public sector.

• Set a target of 2040 for the date after which only Ultra-Low Emission vehicles will be permitted on UK roads for non-freight purposes.

• The Green Transport Act: a statutory target of 2030 by which time all major, regularly used rail routes will need to be electrified, a requirement that every new bus and taxi is Ultra Low Emission from 2030 and every car on the road meets that standard by 2040, the creation of Low Emission Zones as part of a national air quality plan including a legal requirement for the most polluted towns and cities, a new statutory framework that all new rail franchises include a stronger focus on customers, and updates to roads regulation to promote innovation in transport like driverless cars and personal electric vehicles.

GREEN PARTY

• Will invest over £100billion in infrastructure over the next Parliament.

• Want to bring railways back into public ownership as existing franchises fall due for renewal.

• Would not support HS2.

• Supports 20 mph zones, cycle schemes and public transport to make streets safe and useful for young people.

• Will end the ‘wasteful and destructive’ national major roads programme.

• Will improve and subsidise public transport, with an average fare reduction of ten per cent costing £8billion over the Parliament, fixing potholes in existing roads and investing in walking and cycling.

• Support walking and cycling. Would ensure that pedestrians and cyclists get their fare share of road space and would spend at least £30 per head on them over every year of the Parliament.

• Support the re-regulation of bus services to provide a better, more reliable service.

• Stop airport expansion, in particular no new runways at either Heathrow or Gatwick, and ban night flying.

• End the favourable tax treatment of aviation and have a separate target for aviation emissions of below 37.5 million tonnes CO2 equivalent a year.

• Invest in electric vehicle charging points for buses and taxis, and for cars where there are gaps in the network.

• Prioritise affordable local public transport, accessible to all, including those with disabilities. Support free local transport for pensioners, including the existing local bus pass scheme and the Freedom Pass in London. Would extend free local public transport to young people and students, costing around £4billion a year and develop regional smart payment systems with integrated ticketing, like the London Oyster system.

• Extend networks of public transport to include rural areas.

• Work for a road transport system that results in zero deaths or serious injuries by systematically reducing sources of danger on the roads. Reduce both collisions and fuel use by bringing down speed limits, in particular to 20 mph in residential areas, including main roads where people live, work and shop. Would enforce speed limits with speed cameras and policing.

• Reduce the alcohol limit for drivers to as close to zero as is practicable.

• Require newly-manufactured lorries to be equipped with best practice technology to make sure that drivers are fully aware of the presence of all pedestrians and cyclists. Lorries already in use must be retro-fitted with the same equipment and lorries not so equipped will not be allowed into our towns and cities.

• Reduce lorry activity and road freight volume by improving rail freight services, reducing the number of empty or partially loaded trips, and incentivise consolidation of white van deliveries so that last-mile deliveries can be made by cargo bikes and electric vehicles in local areas.

• Make streets ‘healthy and safe places for people to cycle and walk and for children to play, while building physical activity into their daily journeys’.

• Introduce road-pricing schemes such as the London congestion charge and road-user tolls for heavy lorries.

• Begin consultation with a view to developing a framework for the progressive elimination of diesel exhaust emissions. A major cause of air pollution is emissions from diesel vehicles (cars, buses and trains).

• Introduce Ultra Low Emission Zones to ensure air pollution reduces to comply with EU limits.

• Make sure that rural areas are not neglected when transport budgets and planning for our cities and city regions are under discussion.

TomTom-Traffic-Index-Infographic-UK-lores(Image: tomtom traffic index)

UKIP

• Will scrap HS2.

• Will exempt vehicles over 25 years old from Vehicle Excise Duty.

• Will address the lack of airports in the Southeast by re-opening Manston Airport.

SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY

• Would seek adequate transport infrastructure investment, with a particular aim of improving transport and communication links across the north of the country. That includes connecting Scotland to HS2 as a priority, with construction beginning in Scotland as well as England, and a high-speed connection between Glasgow, Edinburgh and the north of England as the first stage of any high-speed rail link connecting Scotland and the north of England to London.

 PLAID CYMRU

• Will support the public ownership of railways. Profits ‘can be reinvested into better services and the transfer of powers over railways to Wales’, including the transfer of full funding for railway infrastructure. Will work with network rail to deliver this.

• Support the electrification of railways in Wales, with the aim of all major lines being electrified by 2034 and will ensure electrification of the North Wales Main Line in the next control period.

• Support a South Wales metro around the Cardiff capital region which will link with economically developing valleys and coastal communities.

• Fund a feasibility study for re-opening old railway lines.

• Bring the Severn bridges into Welsh public ownership, cutting the tolls and re-investing any profits into Welsh transport infrastructure.

• Push for improvements to the A55 including the construction of a third manual bridge and will improve roads between north and south to improve access to all parts of Wales.

• Support ‘blue route’ M4 improvements which are less costly and can be completed faster than the ‘black route’ that is proposed by the Welsh government.

• Introduce additional electricity charging points in Wales to encourage the use of electric vehicles.

• Support the transfer of powers over air passenger duty both short and long haul, to the Welsh government.

• Support Cardiff airport in creating an improved freight and passenger development strategy.

• Would not support the creation of a major new UK airport to the east of London.

• Would introduce a Welsh transport smart card compatible with other forms of transport.

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