With the Tories seemingly on course to win a majority in the general election, we look back at what they pledged in relation to key areas of transport policy

 

 

FARES

  • Freeze commuter rail fares in real terms for five years. No flexibility for train operators to raise some fares above the cap if corresponding discounts are made on other routes.
  • Use smart ticketing to provide discounted part-time season tickets.
  • Improve arrangements for compensating delayed passengers.
  • Commitment to protect the free bus pass for pensioners.

PAY & LABOUR RELATIONS

  • New laws will make it much harder for unions to strike and the strongest reforms will apply to essential public services, including public transport. In these industries, at least 40% of those eligible to take part in ballots must be in favour of strike action as well as a majority of people who vote. Transport for London claims this 40% level was not achieved in recent ballots which led to strike action.

RAIL PROJECTS & HS2

  • Confirmation of planned infrastructure enhancement and electrification schemes up until 2019, emphasising the importance of Northern Powerhouse agenda.
  • Confirmation of commitment to HS2 and development of the cross-Pennine HS3 route.
  • Pledges to authorise improved rail connections in East Anglia, and take forward plans for Crossrail 2.

BUS POLICY & DEVOLUTION

  • Powers to regulate buses will be available to cities which choose to have elected mayors as part of the Conservatives’ plans to devolve “far-reaching” powers to large cities. Will start with legislation to provide a deal for Greater Manchester.

RAIL POLICY

  • No mention of fundamental policy changes. Would transfer responsibility for letting and funding the Wales and Borders franchise to the Welsh Assembly.

IMPORTANCE OF TRANSPORT

  • The Conservative manifesto repeatedly emphasises the importance of transport to the economy setting out how existing and emerging plans to increase rail capacity will support economic growth in all regions. The second chapter is devoted exclusively to “better roads, trains and modern communications”.

 

This article originally appeared in Passenger Transport.

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