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‘Major political parties must reinvent their transport intentions’

Mike Rutherford takes an alternative look at the transport policies he’d like to see introduced in 2018

Mike Opinion Louise Ellman

No time to waste, copies of Mike’s Motoring Manifesto 2018 are heading to the major political parties, who must surely reinvent their transport-related intentions ahead of the general election coming later this year – probably. Here are a few extracts from MMM ’18. Nearer polling day, we’ll publish it in full.

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Adopt the Mexican Collectivo system that sees Toyota Hiaces and similar 15-seaters offered day and night on a ride-share basis after being flagged down in areas where regular ‘public transport’ sucks. Passengers pay more than they would for a slower ride on a loathed double-decker, but far less than a conventional taxi fare. Entrepreneurial, registered/licensed/trained drivers earn a reasonable living. Everyone wins – except the subsidised big bus corporations such as Stagecoach.

UK plans petrol and diesel ban from 2040

Ban left-hand-drive HGVs in Britain and RHD HGVs on mainland Europe. LHD lorries cause too many accidents in the UK. Same is true of RHD versions in Continental Europe.

Cancel HS2, as this and other hugely costly railways will be redundant when autonomous mass-transport road vehicles arrive.

Car insurance and road fund licence details, endorsements, NI number, blood group, allergies, next of kin info etc to be uploaded to hi-tech driving licences. Only their owners, plus police/ambulance/fire personnel and authorised vehicle rental firms can access the data.

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Councils to be forced to build more new roads or widen existing routes every time they grant permission for extra homes or businesses. Increased income from council tax and business rates would pay for these improvements.

Dedicated lanes/routes/tracks/corridors for a) buses and coaches, b) cars and car-derived vans, c) commercial vehicles, d) two-wheelers. We can’t enter their spaces, they can’t impinge on ours. Think of it as positive apartheid.

Department for Transport to transfer motorists from the bottom to the top of its priority list. We spend the most by far on vehicle, fuel, road and other taxes, so it’s logical that we’re better served by the bicycle, bus and train-obsessed DfT.

Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England set their own time zones to maximise the number of usable daylight hours. Accidents on roads, cycle lanes and pavements should decrease – especially in winter. Let’s give it a go.  

Introduce the BHP (British Highway Patrol) to identify and film middle-lane hoggers, tailgaters, excessive speeders and other dangerous offenders. The no-commission wages of uniformed front-line BHP officers to be met, in part, by fines. Manufacturers and energy firms with a conscience could donate their cars and fuel. For obvious reasons, the insurance industry must chip in, too.

What do you think of Mike’s policies? Have you got better ideas? Let us know below!

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Chief columnist

Mike was one of the founding fathers of Auto Express in 1988. He's been motoring editor on four tabloid newspapers - London Evening News, The Sun, News of the World & Daily Mirror. He was also a weekly columnist on the Daily Telegraph, The Independent and The Sunday Times. 

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