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The general election set for May 7th 2015 is fast approaching, and with motorists making up a large percentage of the electorate, the leading parties are appealing to car owners. So, what will it mean for motorists if the Tories win the election?
Whilst motorists wait in anticipation for the publication of the political party manifestos, Trusted Dealers investigates the impact the Conservative Party may have on motorists if they stay in power.
The current situation under the Conservative Government
Over the years, the Conservative Party has been keen to point out that it has invested more into the UK’s road network than any government since the 1970’s. Britain’s roads have received triple the amount of funding previously given for projects to repair, maintain and develop motorways and A roads and to deal with traffic hotspots.
Following the period of bad weather last year, millions of pounds has been made available to councils for potholes and surface repairs, although this was heavily criticised by other parties as being not nearly enough to solve the growing pothole problem. For more information on the current pothole crisis, take a look at our Pothole Data Breakdown.
In addition, since the coalition government came into power in 2010, the four planned fuel duty rises (a legacy left from the Labour Party), have been shelved, making fuel potentially 13p per litre lower than it might have been, saving the typical motorist £7 every time they fill up and helping to create a 5 year low for petrol.
Furthermore, the Conservatives have implemented changes to legislation to tackle the compensation culture that’s causing high insurance premium costs for motorists, although this hasn’t all been good news with a much anticipated policy on young driver safety and insurance premiums being controversially dropped.
The coalition has also scrapped the tax disc, announced that the paper driving licence will be removed and is currently undergoing to digitalisation of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) as it looks to cut red tape and costs.
The future for motorists if the Tories stay in power
The Conservative government states they will continue to fund the biggest package of road investment since the 1970s, trebling the amount of money available for motorway and major A-road projects and tackling congestion hotspots with their Pinch Point Fund. In addition, the party are working towards ending the stop-start approach to road funding and the introduction of long-term settlements such as the 5 year plans on railways.
Future plans for how the Tories will tackle the still high price of car insurance include cracking down on the those motorists committing fraud. Speaking to online motoring experts, Auto Express, Cameron said: It’s not right that fraudsters think they can cheat the insurance system and get away with it, driving the cost up for people who play by the rules. That’s why we’re cracking down on whiplash fraudsters and introducing independent medical panels so that only evidence from accredited, independent professionals is considered.” The Tories also claim they will continue to reduce the cost of compensation claims by cutting the fees lawyers can make by processing basic, uncontested claims.
Finally, a £6 billion funding injection to English local councils for the pothole crisis was announced in January this year. The money will be spread between 2015 and 2021 to improve the road network after erosion from severe winters and devastating floods. The transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said the money would be enough to fix about 18m potholes.
Which of the political parties will win your vote this May? We’d love to hear your thoughts below. Or, for more information on the current voting behaviour of Britain’s motorists, check out the Election 2015 feature.