Labour: Backing EVs, potholes and road safety targets a goal

Motoring sections of the Labour manifesto are based on its report in autumn 2023, Driving a Growing Economy: Labour’s Plan for the Automotive Sector.

Its keynote message is a call to improve infrastructure. “We need to forge ahead with new roads, railways, reservoirs, and other nationally significant infrastructure. Rebuilding Britain means modernising our transport infrastructure. Our road network is plagued by long-promised projects that are never delivered. The potholes cratering our roads are a visible sign of the decline after 14 years of Conservative rule.”

It knows that “cars remain by far the most popular form of transport. Labour will maintain and renew our road network, to ensure it serves drivers, cyclists and other road users, remains safe, and tackles congestion. ”

Labour pledges to fix an additional one million potholes across England in each year of the next parliament, funded by deferring the A27 bypass, which is poor value for money.

It will also support the transition to electric vehicles by “accelerating the roll out of charge points, giving certainty to manufacturers by restoring the phase-out date of 2030 for new cars with internal combustion engines, and supporting buyers of secondhand electric cars by standardising the information supplied.”

To back this up Labour will set new binding targets for EV charging point rollout, create a rapid recharging fund and remove planning barriers to chargepoint rollout, such as rapid charger height restrictions.

Chargepoint data will be made open access and Labour would introduce Electric Vehicle Confident labelling requirement on new EVs, similar to the Monroney sticker used in the US. It will also invest £1.5 billion in new gigafactories “so our automotive industry leads the world.”

Labour has also pledged support for the production of green hydrogen, which some experts see as an alternative zero emission option to battery electric cars.

On car insurance

Labour has said it will further support drivers by tackling the soaring cost of car insurance. Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh said the Financial Conduct Authority and the Competition and Markets Authority would be instructed to launch formal investigations into the soaring price of car insurance, and unfair postcode pricing.

Road safety

No pledge was made to re-introduce national road safety targets but the party has suggested previously that it would commit to a reduction strategy in the next parliament

What others said

The RAC said it was “pleased to see major concerns for drivers, such as local road maintenance and the transition to electric vehicles, high on the list of Labour’s priorities if they win power.”

The AA criticised a lack of detail around the funding for potholes. It also called on Labour to commit to a new plug-in car grant to bring down the cost of EVs. This has been a previous policy, but was not a costed commitment in the manifesto. However, the AA said it was “pleased the Labour Manifesto reflects many of the policies outlined in The AA Motoring Manifesto”.


Leave a Reply