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Tories pledge to support drivers if re-elected

  • June 10, 2024
  • 2 min read
Tories pledge to support drivers if re-elected

The Tories have announced plans to bring in a new law that would stop “unnecessary restrictions”  on drivers if re-elected. The plans would include “unilaterally reversing” the expansion of the ULEZ clean air scheme in London as well as giving communities referendums on low-traffic neighbourhoods.  

Ministers have been trying to portray themselves as being “on the side of motorists” for a while. But Labour criticised the announcement, calling it “desperate stuff from a government that has run out of road.”

If they stay in power, the Tories also plan to introduce a bill that would prevent the potential of any “pay per mile” tax being introduced. Under such a scheme, a driver could be charged for how far they drive, what sort of car, and at what time of day. It has been tipped as a potential to replace vehicle excise duty (VED), commonly referred to as car tax, to fill the revenue gap from drivers switching to electric vehicles.

VED as well as fuel duty that motorists pay at the pumps raise billions of pounds a year for the government. But both of these are not levied on pure electric vehicles. Opinions vary on such schemes among industry figures and drivers. The Transport Select Committee has said that road-pricing technology could be employed to address congestion.

Under the Conservative pledge, it  would also reverse the expansion of London’s Ultra low Emissions Zone or ULEZ. The scheme, introduced in 2019, has since been expanded to cover the entire Greater London area. A £12.50 daily rate applies to anyone entering the zone in a vehicle that does not meet the emissions standards.

Its aim is to tackle air pollution in the capital but it has sparked protests with cameras and signage being damaged.

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