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“We need to remind the new Government what it should and shouldn’t be doing”

Mike Rutherford looks at the fallout from the General Election and what the Government should be doing for the motorist between now and 2022

Opinion - electric charging points

That’s your lot, then. We have a new Government (of sorts) with manifesto promises to keep (yeah, right) and car users to fleece between now and the 2022 General Election. The run-up to last week’s poll really did go from mad to worse. I didn’t think the demented Lib Dem demand to ban diesel car sales by 2025 could be topped.

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But the Monster Raving Loony Party just about outdid the bonkers Liberals when claiming yellow lines should only be put down where motorists CAN park. It also vowed to warn drivers of potholes by plonking plastic ducks inside them.

Even wackier, the BBC (our most consistent opposition ‘party’) dropped its unbiased guard and promoted the insane idea that drivers be presumed guilty when cars collide with bicycles, or vice versa. But what if bike riders are drunk, travelling in the wrong direction on one-way streets or jumping red lights?

• General Election 2017: what will a coalition Government mean for the motorist?

Seems to me that motorists, car makers, auto workers, the motor trade and others would do well to remind the new Government what it should and shouldn’t be doing to us and our toll-free roads between now and 2022. For starters, it has to be advised that the UK’s EV charging ‘system’ is near collapse and needs rebuilding.

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Also, the notoriously iffy electricity industry – which can struggle to cope with present demands for leccy – needs a revolution, too. Unless it gets its act together, I fear it’ll have trouble supplying enough ‘juice’ to the growing number of drivers required to recharge their EVs daily.

Another must is the formation of an all-party/industry/consumer/legal working group on self-driving cars. Huge changes in infrastructure and legislation have to be addressed before we can think about taking a ride. It’s also time for parking industry personnel to be registered, then struck off if they dare target vulnerable people such as hospital patients, folk attending funerals or those caught up in the aftermath of terrorist attacks.

And, really, can every one of Britain’s 15 mainstream and major premium/sports car makers survive until 2022? With encouragement and fair play from a Houses of Parliament that has lately been obsessed with trains and bicycles, yes. But without such high-level State support, there will be painful corporate casualties and devastating job losses for the UK’s vehicle manufacturing industry and related businesses. Never again can Britain allow an MG Rover-like capitulation to occur.

Do you agree with Mike? Let us know in the comments 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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