General Elections 2015: Who will drive home the best motoring policies for drivers?

The general election is now just a few days away and all major parties are hot on the campaign trail.

With the rising cost of motoring, poorly maintained roads and car emissions a concern for many drivers, we took a look at which parties are addressed motoring in their manifestos to find out: who is really on the side of the motorist?

The Conservative Party is keen to remind voters they have kept fuel duty frozen through their time in power. They also point out that they have invested £15 billion – more than any other party since the 1970s – in the UK’s road network; repairing, maintaining and developing motorways and A roads as well as tackling some of the worst traffic hotspots. But what are their plans if they get into power once more?
•    The party has cancelled four planned fuel duty rises made by the previous government; meaning that fuel could potentially be 13p per litre lower than it could be now, saving the typical motorist £7 each time they fill up.
•    They also intend to crack down on insurance fraudsters, as a means of keeping insurance premium costs down for motorists that play by the rules.
•    It is their aim to have ‘almost’ every vehicle polluting zero emissions by 2050, although this is a very vague objective. They propose that they will do this by setting aside £500 million over the next five years to encourage drivers and manufacturers to support cleaner driving.

Labour is mostly working towards long term road network strategies. Funds will be ring-fenced to deal with unplanned emergency situations, such as the winter floods that devastated the road network last year.
•    The party is keen to dedicate higher funds for maintenance, ongoing repairs and renewal programmes. They argue that this in turn would tackle the UK’s issue with potholes, as well as creating opportunities for employment.
•    They also promise to provide a dedicated fund to protect motorists against unplanned emergencies such as flooding that has potential to destroy road networks and cause havoc for drivers.
•    Labour is also working towards more affordable car insurance policies for younger drivers, through proposing cheaper ‘travel to work only’ insurance. This would be monitored through telematics schemes and driver safety education – which would, in turn, drive down the costs of insurance premiums too.
•    They also plan to promote cycling.

Liberal Democrats
Most future policy plans for Britain’s third party link back to the work they have done as part of the coalition government. With its Conservative government partner, the Lib Dems have secured funding for several road network projects.
•    The Lib Dems aim to have only ‘ultra-low-emission’ vehicles on the roads for non-freight purposes by 2040, beating rivals Conservatives by ten years.
•    They also support the introduction of road tolls and other ‘cost neutral’ road pricing measures.
•    The party also pledges to work with the industry to accelerate the introduction of zero-emission fuel-cell electric vehicles, although they do not specify how they would action this.

Dubbing themselves the motorists’ party, UKIP has ridiculed the other parties for their efforts to tackle road network problems.
•    UKIP promises to improve the pothole situation and the general standard of road maintenance, although little has been said about exactly how this will be achieved.
•    Further promises have been made to tackle high petrol and diesel prices by reducing fuel duty. UKIP claims antipathy to the concept of road tolls and intends to let any existing contracts expire, comparing them to simply another tax upon motorists.

It seems to us that although most parties have confronted transport policies, there is little consideration or support for the common motorist. The costs of driving has consistently risen in recent years and car emissions have only served to exacerbate air pollution, with air quality currently under major scrutiny.

But what do you think? Let us know on Twitter, by tweeting us at: @RedMarlinPR

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