General Election 2019 – what do the manifestos say?

13.03 | 5 December 2019 |

Image: Alexander Rentsch, via Flickr

On 12 December, the United Kingdom will head to the polls once more, electing a new Government to lead the country.

The Road Safety News editorial team has delved into the manifestos of each of the main political parties to pick out the key information when it comes to road safety and wider road transport policy. 

All information set out below is quoted directly – or in some cases paraphrased – from the respective manifestos.

We will make a £28.8 billion investment in strategic and local roads. We will invest £1 billion in completing a fast-charging network to ensure that everyone is within 30 miles of a rapid electric vehicle charging station

We will consult on the earliest date we can phase out the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars, while minimising the impact on drivers and businesses.

We will launch the biggest ever pothole-filling programme as part of our National Infrastructure Strategy – and our major investment in roads will ensure new potholes are much less likely to appear in the future.

We will support commuter cycling routes, so that more people can cycle safely to work and more families can go out together. We will create a new £350 million Cycling Infrastructure Fund with mandatory design standards for new routes. 

We will extend Bikeability – cycling proficiency training – to every child. And we will work with the NHS to promote cycling for healthier living.

Click here to view the full Conservative manifesto.

Labour will build a sustainable, affordable, accessible and integrated transport system, founded on the principle that transport is an essential public service.

Cutting emissions will drive our transport policies. We will review public expenditure on transport to ensure that it promotes environmental sustainability and contributes to decarbonisation.

We will increase the funding available for cycling and walking. We will bring together transport and land-use planning to create towns and cities in which walking and cycling are the best choice: safe, accessible, healthy, efficient, economical and pollution free. 

We will help children’s health and well-being by ensuring street designs provide freedom for physically active outdoor play and by introducing measures to ensure the zones around our schools are safer, with cleaner air.

Our transport programme is focused on creating better, publicly accessible local transport systems. By improving public transport, Labour will help people to become less reliant on their cars, for our better health, for a cleaner environment and to improve quality of life in our towns and cities. 

The Conservatives have committed to ending new sales of combustion engine vehicles by 2040. Labour will aim for 2030.

We will position the UK at the forefront of the development and manufacture of ultra-low emission vehicles and will support their sale. We will invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and in electric community car clubs.

We will accelerate the transition of our public sector car fleets and our public buses to zero-emissions vehicles.

We will adopt an ambitious Vision Zero approach to UK road safety, striving for zero deaths and serious injuries. Labour will invest to make our neglected local roads, pavements and cycleways safer for the everyday journeys of both drivers and vulnerable road users. We will review all tolled crossings.

Click here to download the full Labour manifesto.

Scottish National Party (SNP)
SNP MPs will campaign for the UK government to bring forward plans to move to electric vehicles to match the Scottish target of 2032.

To make our transport system greener, we are committed to helping people with the cost of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), including second-hand cars, by providing an additional £17 million for loan funding.

SNP MPs will campaign for the re-design of vehicle and tax incentives to support industry and business investment in zero emission and sustainable transport choices – such as reduced VAT on bicycles and additional incentives for businesses and individuals to use Ultra Low Emission Vehicles.

Click here to download the full SNP manifesto.

Liberal Democrats
Our plan is to invest in public transport, encourage walking and cycling, and accelerate the transition to ultra-low-emission transport – reducing the impact of transport on the environment and improving people’s health.

Liberal Democrats will meet this challenge by:

  • Investing in public transport, buses, trams and railways to enable people to travel more easily while reducing their impact on the environment
  • Placing a far higher priority on encouraging walking and cycling – the healthiest forms of transport.
  • Introduce a nationwide strategy to promote walking and cycling, including the creation of dedicated safe cycling lanes, increasing spending per head five-fold to reach 10% of the transport budget
  • Build on the successful Local Sustainable Transport Fund established by the Liberal Democrats when in government, and workplace travel plans, to reduce the number of cars – particularly single-occupancy cars – used for commuting, and encourage the development of car-sharing schemes and car clubs and autonomous vehicles for public use
  • Accelerating the transition to ultra-low-emission transport – cars, buses and trains – through taxation, subsidy and regulation

Click here to download the full Liberal Democrats manifesto.

Plaid Cymru
We will reform planning law to provide greater protection for green spaces in urban areas, expanding the minimum requirements for play area provision in planning developments.

We will increase spending on active travel routes and promote walking and cycling. We will ensure all schools meet the minimum requirement of providing children with the opportunity to do two hours of physical activity each week.

We will implement a Clean Air Act for Wales to:

  • Create clean air zones in our towns and cities
  • Enable local authorities to introduce pollution and congestion charges
  • Set a national and regional plan to reduce air pollution in Wales
  • Accelerate the transition to an electric transport system so that petrol and diesel cars are phased out by 2030

We will invest in a national electric vehicle charging network across Wales, starting the transition towards a wholly electric fleet of public sector vehicles and increased use of private EVs. 

Plaid Cymru will introduce a bicycle use reward scheme, to encourage people out of their cars and onto their bikes. This will lead to a significant reduction in road congestion and a boost for improved health and wellbeing.

We will develop a scheme where participants are paid for every mile they cycle to work, as is the case in the Netherlands. This would go hand in hand with significant improvements to cycling infrastructure, making cycling safer and more enjoyable for children and casual bike users.

It would include nationwide improvements to cycle paths, the development of cycleways connecting economic hubs and providing train carriages with enough room for bicycles.

Click here to download the full Plaid Cymru manifesto.

Green Party
The Green New Deal will revolutionise our transport system by ending dependence on carbon, and investing instead in alternatives that work for better for the climate and for people. This means more reliable and affordable trains, electric buses and trams, and better options for cycling and walking.

Our Green New Deal for transport will invest in public transport, walking and cycling so wherever people live, they are not forced to use a car, by: 

  • Spending £2.5 billion a year on new cycleways and footpaths, built using sustainable materials, such as woodchips and sawdust
  • Making travelling by public transport cheaper than travelling by car, by reducing the cost of travelling by train and bus. Coach travel will also be encouraged, with new routes for electric coaches provided across the country.
  • End the sale of new petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles by 2030. Over the next ten years we will ease this transition by incentivising the replacement of diesel and petrol vans, lorries and coaches with electric vehicles.
  • Our priority is reducing overall mileage and the number of vehicles on our roads – these further measures will ensure that the vehicles still on our roads in 2030 create the minimum of pollution. Even electric vehicles pollute, so they represent an improvement on the current situation, not a solution in themselves.
  • Create a network of electric vehicle charging points across the country, by requiring their construction through the planning system and encouraging the private sector to deliver them. We will ensure that these charging points are located in public places, and do not take up pavement and cycling space.
  • Civilise our streets by making Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (in which rat-running is blocked) the norm for residential areas and making 20mph the default speed limit. These changes would reduce traffic, carbon emissions and danger to people walking and cycling.
  • Commit to the Vision Zero campaign – that there should be no fatalities or serious injuries as a result of road traffic collisions.
  • Make 40mph the default speed limit in non-residential areas except on major roads

Click here to download the full Green Party manifesto.

Brexit Party
Invest at least £50bn in local road and rail schemes in our development-starved regions.

Click here to download the full Brexit Party manifesto.



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