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The three parties and motoring

This week would not be complete without acknowledging the race for Downing Street. Let’s take a quick look at what each Prime Minister would bring to the transport industry and infrastructure if they receive the keys to Number 10.

All three party manifestos have their own unique transport policies and messages, but all agree on two key areas: the need to encourage greener, low or zero-carbon motoring, and the need to reduce congestion.

On the former, Labour and the Conservatives both want to encourage the take-up of green cars by introducing a network of recharging stations, while the Liberal Democrats would expand public transport to provide an alternative to private cars altogether.

On the latter, the three parties seem to have rather individual takes on solving congestion. Labour would extend hard-shoulder running on motorways, alongside targeted motorway widening including the M25, and the introduction of further penalties against utilities for disruptive roadworks.

The Tories, meanwhile, would encourage telecommuting and create a Transport Carbon Reduction Fund for green transport initiatives. Finally, the Lib Dems would focus on public transport as an alternative to driving.

And what about the future of fuel costs? All parties plan promote low or zero-carbon vehicles, trying to move us away from dependency on conventional fossil fuels. In addition, we think the Tories’ proposal for a ‘Fair Fuel Stabiliser’ to tackle the issue crippling fuel duty rises is intriguing: when fuel prices go up, fuel duty would fall, and when fuel prices go down, fuel duty would rise.

It is clear, meanwhile, that the Lib Dems empathise with those living in rural or remote areas where there is no alternative to driving. In their manifesto they call for dedicated help, including a fuel discount scheme, allowing a reduced rate of fuel duty to be paid.

All the above initiatives show promise and progress, but who will take the driving seat on May 7? That remains to be seen.

Fuel cards on www.businessfuelcards.co.uk give you the added benefit of HMRC-approved invoices, ensuring you reclaim 100% of VAT on business fuel expenses.

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