There are two stories currently dominating the headlines: The unpredictable general election and the eruption of the Icelandic volcano, which has caused chaos to European airspace.
The timing of events has provided a sharp reminder of just how mobile Britons are. Transport policy, unlike health or education, is rarely centre stage during election campaigns. But, as the Icelandic volcano has shown, air travel – and travel on other modes of transport – are key issues that the next government will need to address.
ePolitix election focus on transport today provides a good summary of the three main parties’ transport policies and priorities. Media coverage of the main parties transport policies has thus far been dominated by high speed rail and the expansion of Heathrow. But as two- thirds of all British trips are made by car and four fifths of the population lives in a household with a car, the roads are the most important area of transport policy for a substantial proportion of the electorate.
Both Labour and Conservatives plan to introduce electric vehicle charging points on the road network. The Lib Dems are the only party that plans to introduce a system of road-pricing. Labour has ruled out the introduction of national road pricing for next Parliament, while the Conservatives have not ruled out introducing road pricing if it is needed to fund additional road capacity.
None of the parties are really addressing the concerns of ordinary motorists, looking for an affordable and convenient journey to work. The TPA has also outlined the transport policies we want the next government to introduce in the TPA manifesto.