A new Prime Minister and changes to the Cabinet could mean a change of motoring priorities.
Motorists have in recent years benefitted from a prolonged fuel duty freeze and a focus on upgrading the strategic road network. But what motorists need in this era of uncertainty is clarity that the Government will continue to be on their side.
This means helping motorists, businesses and the economy by not increasing fuel duty, and sticking with the long-term vision of investment for our strategic road network. Traffic volumes are now at record levels and to avoid gridlock the RAC seeks assurances that the Road Investment Strategy will continue to be implemented in full, and that guarantees for investment beyond 2020 will be kept.
“It is also vitally important that the new Transport Secretary and Chancellor work together to come up with a long-term funding solution to improve the state of local roads. Potholes are causing damage to our nation’s vehicles – as the RAC reported, in 2015 there was a 24% year-on-year rise in pothole damage related call-outs. The state of our local roads is now so serious that motorists tell us that fixing the problem is their number one priority.
“The Government will also have decisions to make about implementing clean air zones and improving road safety. Given the important part Britain’s 38 million motorists play in the country’s economic health, prioritising their needs is absolutely essential.”
David Davies, Executive Director for the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety said, “We welcome Chris Grayling to the post of Secretary of State for Transport and wish him success. While Transport may not be top of the Whitehall pecking order, it is hugely important to the economy, the environment and to our quality of life. It is a very capable and professional department with considerable technical expertise and knowledge.
“Though not a major spending item, transport safety has always been a key responsibility of the Secretary of State for Transport and his or her department. It requires a multi-disciplinary approach and good coordination.
“The UK has a good record on transport safety – for air, rail and road. But whereas deaths from air and rail accidents have been reduced to very small numbers, road traffic remains the UK’s biggest single killer of young people and the biggest risk most of us face in our daily lives. Last year 1,806 people were killed on the UK’s roads.
“We urge the new Secretary of State to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to reducing the number of road users killed and seriously injured every year. We also urge him to ensure adequate resources to deliver the valuable actions in his Department’s British Road Safety Statement (December 2015). These actions are not radical or controversial but require strong leadership to work across government departments and with multiple organisations and disciplines.