Reform UK, Green Party, The SNP & Plaid Cymru

Reform UK: Scrap Net Zero

Reform UK’s main motoring goals are set out as part of its commitment to “scrap all Net Zero targets.”
It will scrap the 2035 ban on selling petrol and diesel cars, and the legal requirements manufacturers are currently set to sell EVs (the ZEV mandate).

However, interestingly, it would also “increase and incentivise UK lithium mining for electric batteries” as part of a push for cleaner energy.

Scrapping Net Zero would save the UK save £30 billion in annualised savings.

On the roads

Reform would scrap all ULEZ schemes and Low Traffic Neighburhoods. All 20mph limits would be returned to 30mph – but “we will keep the speed limit low where safety is critical.”

Reform will accelerate already announced transport infrastructure – which includes the new £4.7 billion Local Transport Fund announced in February by the Tories – particularly focusing on the North.

A national database for councils, contractors, government and utilities would be launched to
co-ordinate projects, and reduce road works, waste and delays.

Reform would also look to deliver a 20p cut in fuel duty, per litre, though this is not a manifesto commitment; rather it is a goal of former leader and current party Chairman Richard Tice.

Green Party: Total ban on petrol and diesel car use by 2035

It may not come as a surprise that cars and the Green Party are not best buddies. If we have a Green Government, all sales of new ICE cars will end in 2027, with a total ban on petrol and diesel fuel use by 2035. That means cars built next year would have a 10-year lifecycle if they are not full electric.

But it would support motorists with a generous vehicle scrappage scheme, with funding rising to £5 billion by the end of the parliament, supported by the rollout of rapid charging points.

It would push for a zero-carbon society as soon as possible, with a zero carbon electricity supply by 2040. ULEZ schemes would be mandatory through a Clean Air Act ‘to set new air quality standards for the UK’.

Overall, the transport system would be switched to “shift away from cars and roads”, with a move to cleaner public transport instead. A fuel duty escalator would raise tax by a percentage each year, in the same way that cigarettes have been taxed to decrease usage.

The focus would be on safe streets and active travel:
“Walking, wheeling and cycling don’t just help reduce carbon emissions and air pollution – they can make us all happier and healthier too,” the Greens said.

There would be a huge commitment to cycleways and footpaths, with £2.5bn funding, and towns and cities would work with residents “to re-imagine how we use roads and streets, opening them up for community use.” The goal would be for 50% of trips in England’s towns and cities to be walked, wheeled or cycled by 2030.

What others said…

The Institite for Fiscal Studies said: “While ‘it is clear where the Green Party’s ambitions lie – a much bigger role for the state, better funded public services, and, of course, a swifter transition to net zero […] it is unlikely that the specific tax-raising measures they propose to help achieve all this would raise the sorts of sums they claim – and certainly not without real economic cost.’

The SNP: EV grants, fair transition

The SNP’s manifesto is largely silent on motoring, with any transport policies focused on bringing rail under state control and improving aviation links.

Where it does tackle transport it is from the Net Zero angle. The SNP would like to promote a fair and affordable transition to zero-emission transport fuels and ban the import and sale of new, non zero-emission buses by 2025.

It would like to strengthen incentives to purchase cleaner vehicles. Following the example of France, the UK Government should establish a new Low Income EV Car Leasing Fund, backed up by at least £500m, to enable 50,000 EV leases a year to benefit low income families.

Invest in safer roads

This heading does offer a glimmer of hope that road safety will play its part, but alas the entire focus is on the state of the roads. Reducing road traffic is key to cutting emissions, SNP says, but in a rural and sparsely populated country, not everywhere and everyone can be expected to make the same changes at the same time. “It is vital that we ensure roads are as safe, reliable and resilient as possible. We are committed to dualling the A9 in full between Perth and Inverness and improving the A96, including dualling Inverness to Nairn and the Nairn Bypass. We will press the UK Government to fulfil their commitment to fund improvements to the A75.”

Plaid Cymru: We take road safety seriously

We leave the best till last…

Step forward and take a bow, Plaid Cymru, the only major political party to have a designated section in their manifesto devoted to road safety.

It is small, but it is there, so well done. We’ll publish it in full:

Road Safety

Road safety is a crucial part of daily life in Wales, whether as a driver of passenger.

Unfortunately, many accidents on the road are due to careless driving. We will identify roads which have a higher than anticipated number of accidents and work with local government and Welsh Government, whichever is responsible, to make changes to make them safer and reduce accidents.

This can include additional signage, changes to road layout, as well as investment in average speed cameras.

While Plaid Cymru supports the principle of the introduction of the 20mph speed zone across roads in Wales in order to reduce the number of accidents and life-changing injuries, we believe that it was poorly implemented by the Labour Welsh Government.

We support a review to ensure it is working successfully across Wales in reducing dangerous driving in urban areas. Lessons must be learned to ensure that the public understand the changes being made and involved in local decision-making.

Plaid Cymru will consider what other powers can be used to improve driver behaviour, particularly of younger drivers who are statistically shown to be involved in greater numbers of traffic collisions.


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