On Thursday, the British public will head to the polls to elect a new Government. Come the weekend, whichever party – or parties – take up residence in Whitehall will be faced with a myriad of challenges ranging from immigration to the economy and Europe to local government. What’s most important to us, though, is transport.
We’ve pored over all the major Scottish parties’ manifestos and have extracted their key transport policies.
Have a read and take a look at the possible futures of Scottish transport.
While Scottish Labour are promising a sort of half-renationalisation of the railways, the Scottish Greens have gone the whole hog and pledged to bring the railways back into public ownership once the current franchise deal expires. Abellio have the franchise for the next seven to ten years so it’ll be a while before this policy could ever be implemented.
In support of renationalisation, the Greens point to the huge success of the East Coast network which returned £1 billion to the public purse in only five years of public ownership.
Will it work in Scotland? We’re not sure but we’re at least seven years – almost two parliamentary terms – away from this policy coming into effect so we’re got time to mull it over.
Manifesto Theme: Improved Access
Once a single-policy party, UKIP has broadened its scope quite considerably. Transport sits at the core of their new look manifesto and sets out their opposition to pretty much everything.
UKIP is firmly against the construction of HS2, attacking the project’s cost and impact on the environment. A vitriolic section concludes:
“HS2 is an unaffordable white elephant and, given other, far more pressing calls on public expenditure, such as the NHS, social care and defence, not to mention the need to reduce the deficit, it must face the axe.”
Instead, they propose improving infrastructure between northern towns and cities as a means to boost northern prosperity.
UKIP’s other policies include ending toll roads, opposing “pay-as-you-go” road tax, scrapping the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence and negating European road user levies by exiting the EU.