BVRLA and RAC comment on party manifestos ahead of General Election
17 April 2015
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
The BVRLA expressed concerned at the lack of attention paid to road safety by the UK's main political parties ahead of the forthcoming General Election.
According to the rental body none of the parties have made any pledges to introduce road safety targets, enhance the reporting of work-related accidents or provide improved guidance to fleet operators and drivers in their manifestos.
"An estimated one-third of all accidents are work-related, yet politicians continue to demonstrate their apparent total disregard for the huge social and economic costs that ensue," said BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney. "No targets, no guidance and no reporting is a recipe for continued work-related carnage on our roads."
The BVRLA also noted that none of the parties have mentioned Authorized Mileage Allowance Payments. The body said the payments are "over-generous" at present, while it states that the Conservative party is the only party to put a figure on its road infrastructure budget should it get re-elected.
Labour is the only party to mention investment in neglected local roads, said the BVRLA, while most of the parties have said that more needs to be done to tackle air quality issues with several agreeing that local authorities should be supported in setting up low-emission zones.
"Road transport makes a vital contribution to the economic and social wellbeing of this country. Whatever form the Government takes after 7 May the BVRLA will make sure that key issues affecting the sector are not forgotten," said Keaney.
Motoring organision the RAC echoed Keaney's opinion on a lack of investment in local roads with its chief engineer, David Bizley suggesting longer-term funding is needed. "Local authorities need the certainty of adequate funding over a sustained period, so they can plan their maintenance programmes more effectively," said Bizley.
The Lib Dems have pledged that only ultra-low emission vehicles will be allowed on the country's roads by 2040, while the Conservatives claimed they will pledge £500 million to ensure nearly every car and van on the road would be a zero emission vehicle within 35 years.
"There is no commitment in the manifesto to continuing the freeze on fuel duty, the toughest form of taxation on the motorist, in the long term," said Bizley.
"We call on all the main political parties to make their position on fuel duty crystal clear, so that motorists are not unfairly hit with a nasty surprise when the new Government takes office after 7 May," Bizley added.