Transport

A faster service

Policies in this section only affect England unless specified.

We need significant upgrades to both our rail and road infrastructure so traveling long distances is easier. This will both help with moving towards greener transport and connecting up businesses.

Sections:

Railways:

  • UK.

Invest in rail infrastructure across the UK. Railways in the UK are already owned by the government through Network Rail which deals with improvements for railways. They should receive extra funds to increase rail electrification, reopening stations that have been closed due to previous railway cutbacks where the routes aren’t better served by buses or other forms of public transport and increased capacity on overcrowded routes.

Whilst large investments in the railways will mean increased taxation in the short term, they may actually be outweighed by increased trade in the long term. It helps businesses transport goods and will have particular benefit for businesses in rural areas.

Publicly owned railways. Whilst the tracks and the railway infrastructure are currently owned by Network rail the trains are franchised out to different companies. With the introduction of Great British Railways timetables and fares will also be placed into public hands with only the operation of the trains themselves in private hands. We believe that the trains, tracks and railway infrastructure should all be run by the government.  To do this as franchises end the government will take over running the trains for each company.

  • UK (network rail).

A review into the trains used by HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail. The HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail lines should be completed as they are too far into development to cancel them. To potentially improve these lines, we support a review into whether faster trains can be used on the lines including maglev trains as are being built within Japan.

A transport watchdog. This watchdog would deal with train delays and whether train companies should repay tickets. It could then compel train companies to repay tickets where it thinks a repayment is clearly due or the service was below standard.

Roads:

Invest in roads. Extra investment in roads means the government allocating more money for highways England. This funding should be targeted at rural areas. It may also be possible for new roads to be white to reflect more heat and to cool the surface temperature during hot weather.

  • UK wide.

Support self-driving vehicles. These have several benefits which include reducing mistakes resulting from human error and making longer journeys easier for drivers. This can be alongside the switch in the future to electric cars. Google is already testing self-driving cars and Tesla uses autopilot features in its cars.

  • UK wide.

Allow local councils to run either private or public bus services. Local councils should have more powers over their local bus services including not just to regulate bus services but also to set up council owned bus services. This would involve changing The Bus Services Act to allow local councils to own bus services in the local area.UK wide, London (Transport for London),

Support autonomous buses. Self-driving buses are more efficient, allow for people to request specific stops and the switch can be alongside a switch to electric buses. This technology is still in early stages although the technology is already being tested in the UK.

Focus on building new roads rather than smart motorways. Smart motorways sometimes use the hard shoulder for traffic which can cause accidents if cars need to use the hard shoulder in the event of an accident. This would include both ‘all lane running’ systems where the hard shoulder is removed permanently and ‘dynamic hard shoulder’ systems where it is removed when there is heavy traffic. However, this does not apply to ‘controlled motorway’ schemes which do not use the hard shoulder.