Re-appointment of Patrick McLoughlin as Transport Secretary is “golden opportunity”, says RAC
The RAC said it believes the short term motoring agenda for the new Government’s should be:
- Major roads – deliver the Road Investment Strategy (RIS) on time and within the agreed budget
- Fuel duty – stay fair to the motorist by, as a minimum, continuing the duty freeze
- Local roads – eradicate the pothole problem with a long-term strategy and funding for tackling the maintenance backlog
- Road safety – publish the green paper on reducing accidents involving young drivers, and reintroduce national casualty reduction targets
RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “The UK’s motorists, who are among the most heavily taxed in Europe, can look forward to benefiting from the boldest investment plan in a generation for England’s strategic roads which will tackle some of the nation’s worst bottlenecks and congestion pinch points.
“But the political foot must not be taken off the gas – there are a number of pressing issues that the Transport Secretary must now get to grips with such as ensuring the UK’s pothole crisis is finally resolved with equally imaginative plans to tackle the maintenance backlog on local roads and examining the contribution that the whole transport sector can make to improving air quality.
“On road safety, we call on him to consider reintroducing casualty reduction targets. Such targets have proven effective in the past, and with the number of children killed or seriously injured on our roads up for the first time in 20 years, now is the time for action to be taken. We also call on him to publish the green paper on young drivers, something that was mooted in the previous parliament but never saw the light of day.
“Finally, motoring taxation is likely to come under renewed scrutiny. Motorists and businesses are both looking for, as a minimum, continuation of the fuel duty freeze. Whilst the Treasury is likely to have the final say, we hope the Transport Secretary will continue to stand up for motorists and encourage a common sense approach by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.”