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Image: Getty (all rights reserved)
Image: Getty (all rights reserved)

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The RAC reacts to The Conservative Party's 2024 election manifesto

Following the launch of the Conservatives’ manifesto, RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “While it’s positive that the Tories have pledged to roll out the Pumpwatch scheme and launch a National Parking Platform, it’s disappointing that there is no mention of road casualty reduction targets or a commitment to give councils long-term certainty of funding for local roads.

“We continue to believe the road casualty reduction targets – which were abandoned 14 years ago – should be reinstated, especially as pedestrian fatalities hit their highest rate since the pandemic this year.

“Although the previously announced £8.3bn of reallocated HS2 funding for resurfacing 5,000 miles of local roads is welcome, it’s important to realise this only represents 3% of all council-run roads in England. Spread over an 11-year timeframe, that funding sadly doesn’t scratch the surface of country’s pothole problem. We would have liked to see a commitment to ringfencing some general taxation to pay for local road maintenance, which would give councils the ability to plan long-term programmes to bring their roads back up to a fit-for-purpose state.

“We were also surprised that pay-per-mile road pricing would be ruled out so definitively. With fuel duty revenue already declining and set to fall even further as more electric vehicles come on to the road, a replacement form of taxation will have to be introduced to avoid losing billions. Any further drop in tax revenue could ultimately result in our local roads crumbling into an even worse condition.

“It is, however, good news to see a pledge to get the Pumpwatch fuel price transparency scheme, which received Royal Assent shortly before the election was called, up and running. This, alongside an official price monitoring body, will hopefully give drivers fairer deals on the UK’s 8,300-plus forecourts.”




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