General Election 2017 – All three parties pledge to clean up UK roads 0

All-three-parties-pledge-to-clean-up-UK-roadsLabour, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives have launched their exhaustive manifestos ahead of next month’s election – all three citing diesel vehicles as a major concern.

On the cards is a diesel scrappage scheme, a complete ban on the sale of diesel vehicles and a £600m investment towards zero-emission cars – but it’s this massive Tory investment that is turning heads amongst drivers.

Our new study reveals motorists are the driving force behind May and her blue army with the majority backing a Conservative win. Servicing Stop also found just under a quarter pledging their support for Labour while 15% are counting on a Liberal Democrat victory.

The Conservatives were the last to launch their manifesto. May stood in West Yorkshire on Thursday telling crowds that she is focused on the economy, Brexit, fast-changing technology and social care. Ironically it is this very area that has an almost exact split of Conservative and Labour voters.

It was May’s manifesto that pledged to develop the strategic road network, provide extra lanes on motorways and improve road standards. She also led her party in promising a massive £600m investment by 2020 to help lower fossil-fuel emissions.

May said: “Our ambition is for Britain to lead the world in electric vehicle technology and use. We want almost every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050 – and will invest £600 million by 2020 to help achieve it.

“We are leading the world in preparing for autonomous vehicles and will press ahead with our plans to use digital technology to improve our railways, so that our roads and tracks can carry more people, faster, more safely and more efficiently.”

Despite May’s emphasis on road standards, it was this exact topic that Jeremy Corbyn used to attack his opposition just days earlier. He said: “After seven years of stalled progress, Labour will reset the UK’s road safety vision and ambitiously strive for a transport network with zero deaths, reintroducing road-safety targets, setting out bold measures that will continuously improve safety standards.”

The Labour manifesto was leaked in its entirety last wednesday in which the party vowed to position itself at the forefront of the development, manufacturing and use of ultra low emission vehicles.

The party promises to retrofit thousands of diesel busses in areas with the most severe air quality problems matching Euro 6 standards and pledges to reform the legislation currently governing taxi and private hire vehicles. New national standards are also set to guarantee safety and accessibility in keeping with advanced new technology.

Liberal Democrats have also jumped on the bandwagon of creating cleaner roads. The party is in a comfortable third place in the national polls which is reflected in this survey with 13% of motorists backing them. They probably aren’t diesel drivers however as a Liberal Democrat win could spell the end for diesel drivers completely as the party pledges a diesel scrappage scheme and ban on the sale of diesel cars and small vans in the UK by the end of 2025.

The party also promise to extend ultra-low emission zones to 10 more towns and cities. We currently have one ultra-low emission zone in the capital which could prove costly on motorists driving through this area alone.

The yellow and blue manifesto which highlights air pollution as a killer in the UK leading to 40,000 premature deaths a year also mirrors the Tory manifesto by discussing electric vehicles. It states: “We will also reform vehicle taxation to encourage sales of electric and low emission vehicles and develop electric vehicle infrastructure including universal charging points.”

Servicing Stop asked motorists if they were behind universal charging points and even specific parking bays to which 78% of drivers agreed with. The survey found the vast majority of over 1,300 motorists behind electric charging points with almost a third more highlighting the lower driver costs, another 30% claiming it is better for the environment and more than a quarter backing the £4,500 government incentive to buy electric.

Labour and Conservatives have both promised to work with the Welsh Government in scrapping the £6.70 toll on the Severn Bridge for the 25 million motorists travelling from England to Wales every year.

It seems the move promised by both parties is reflected in the survey results as Wales is the one area of Great Britain that seems to be almost entirely divided over next month’s election. The survey found 36% of Welsh motorists to be backing a Conservative win but 34% of drivers are behind the Labour Party – an extremely snug second place.

While motorists could be the driving force behind a conservative majority – many motorists aged 18 and over are refusing to vote altogether. 13% of all motorists surveyed are abstaining from voting, but the largest amount of non-voters derive in Wales – almost one in five. (18%) Second to bottom is London where just 8% of motorists are refusing to cross the box but astonishingly the area with the least abstainers is Scotland – also the only threshold where the Conservative’s are second – SNP of course sitting in prime position.

CEO and founder of Servicing Stop, Oly Richmond, said: “It’s not surprising to see our survey reflective of the national polls – after all driving is such an integral part of everyday life that it affects the majority of people on the electoral register. It’s a shame however to see a lack of motoring legislation by some parties and other opting to scrap diesel altogether – which will prove costly for many drivers.

“All parties have proposed their changes for the automotive industry and highways and I can only hope for greener days, lower running costs and more on offer for motorists across the UK.”

This guest blog was written by Servicing Stop Public Relations Executive – Jacqueline Gordon.

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