Why were GE2017 Transport Manifesto Pledges so poor?
Even with the continued advancements in technology that help us to get around the closures and cancellations, and telematics systems that help fleet managers to re-route drivers to help them arrive not only on time but in a fuel efficient way, transport networks in the UK could still be improved and the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties all had sections of their manifestos dedicated to how they would improve the systems should they win the votes of the nation.
Now that several months have past since the election, we've decided to take a look at what was promised and if anything has progressed. Unfortunately, the election showed little progress to the roads with far more focus on trains...
The primary focus from the Labour party was to freeze rail fares, something that has continued to be a gripe for many commuters who travel into and out of the major cities by train. Instead of taking their own cars and adding to the congestion, rail travel has proven to be a highly effective way to get around and with many holding business meetings with clients in cities such as London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Glasgow rail travel is still highly effective.
What isn’t so effective, however, is the price structure. Return tickets from Manchester to London can cost commuters over £100 a time and seasonal passes into London can take up the majority of a monthly salary for many workers. Jeremy Corbyn’s main transport pledge, as touched upon, was to freeze rail fares which would help those who do travel by train to budget for the months and years ahead and, with the prospect of pay increases it may prove to be more cost effective under the Labour government.
The Conservative party didn’t mention anything about pay freezes or increases in their party manifesto, but they have pledged to bring in a Passenger Ombudsman who would oversee the general happiness of the nation in terms of rail travel and they would then look to advise the Government on the best way forward in terms of rail travel prices. One thing they would be looking to improve, however, is the number of rail services being provided with a common issue for most passengers being around the number of trains available to them.
The Liberal Democrats took a different approach to their transport pledge with the aim to make more stations “Accessible for All” by improving access for disabled passengers around the United Kingdom.
But what about the roads?
Unfortunately none of the major political parties mentioned anything to do with the road networks in their manifesto. Speak to any professional drivers or a transport company board and they will all explain the numerous problems with the roads here in the UK, yet no party took the bull by the horns and pledged to do anything about it.
Could this have contributed to the way many drivers chose to vote? Time will tell, but for the time being professional drivers and transport bosses will have to rely on technology and the skills of their drivers to tackle the issue.