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Tories Vow to Cancel ULEZ Expansion and Introduce ‘Backing Drivers Bill,’ Amidst Labour Criticism of Poor Record on Transportation

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Conservatives to Cancel ULEZ Extension as Part of 'Supporting Drivers Act'

The party further commits to community votes on contentious measures such as 20mph limits and Low Traffic Neighborhoods. Meanwhile, Labour criticizes their opponents for a "poor track record" on motorist issues.

Political correspondent @NifS

Friday, June 7, 2024, 10:

The Conservative Party has promised to cancel the planned enlargement of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London should they remain in office following the general election.

In their most recent campaign declaration, the party stated that dismantling the policy of London Mayor Sadiq Khan would be a key component of their proposed "backing drivers bill", aimed at halting the "conflict" their opponents had initiated against drivers.

The proposed law would mandate community votes prior to the introduction of any new road projects nationwide and permit citizens to contest current "harsh and penalty-driven measures that promote traffic," such as Low Traffic Neighborhoods (LTNs) and 20mph zones.

Live Updates: Tracking the Latest Developments in the General Election

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated that the action demonstrated the Conservatives' support for motorists, aiming to provide them with the liberty necessary to create a stable future for themselves and their families.

A representative for Mr. Khan commented, "This is just a desperate attempt by the Conservatives, a party that is utterly lacking in ideas."

Stay informed on the most recent developments from the UK and globally by tuning into Sky News.

The ULEZ initiative, originally introduced by former Conservative mayor Boris Johnson in 2015 and expanded by Mayor Khan the previous year, imposes a daily charge of £12.50 on more polluting vehicles using the city’s streets, aiming to enhance air quality.

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However, the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to encompass all of Greater London in 2023 by Mr. Khan led to divisions within his party and provided the Conservatives with a political advantage.

Their resistance to the plan played a crucial role in their slim victory at Uxbridge and South Ruislip during the special election following Mr. Johnson's resignation from parliament.

Despite making it the key policy of their candidate for London mayor in the May local elections, Susan Hall was still defeated by Mr. Khan.

Data from the mayor's office indicates that as of October, 95% of the vehicles traveling in the capital meet clean air requirements, a significant increase from 39% in 2017, exempting them from any related fees.

The UK Election Leaders Special Event, titled "The Battle for Number 10," will be broadcast live from Grimsby on Wednesday, June 12.

The implementation of additional 20mph zones has sparked debate, particularly in Wales, where the Labour-led government has adopted it as a national speed limit. They argue that studies indicate this measure will result in "reduced accidents and a lower number of fatalities."

The Conservatives stated that the zones might enhance road safety near homes and schools, yet they also argued that improper use could erode public confidence and increase both traffic and pollution.

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In the proposed legislation, the Conservative Party will commit to halting the implementation of "pay-per-mile road taxes," which they assert are included in Mr. Khan's strategy for managing London's roadways.

Though the mayor acknowledged that the government, Transport for London (TfL), and transportation authorities nationwide have considered the concept of streamlining current road fees, he firmly dismissed the possibility of implementing such charges during his tenure.

A spokesperson for the Labour Party commented, "These are the actions of a government that has exhausted all options."

The dismal performance of the Conservative Party concerning motorists is clearly evident. The UK has significantly more potholes than there are craters on the moon, and the prices for car insurance are skyrocketing.

Labour stands with drivers, committing to address the excessive costs of car insurance and to overcome obstacles in planning to guarantee the timely delivery of transport infrastructure.

"Decisions regarding safe school zones and community traffic initiatives will be made by the local communities themselves, rather than by politicians in Westminster."

Discover further: Understanding the Conservative Party. Glossary of election terms. Crucial constituencies to observe during the election evening.

On Saturday, Labour will be actively promoting their strategies for small businesses, pledging to "open up opportunities for British entrepreneurs."

The party will renew several existing commitments, vowing to ensure the availability of banking services on main streets, overhaul the business rates system to create fairer competition with bigger businesses, and eliminate delayed invoice payments to small enterprises.

Labour's spokesperson for business affairs, Jonathan Reynolds, stated, "The Labour Party, upon entering government, will prioritize initiatives that are important to small enterprises to facilitate transformation."

"In the upcoming election, small business owners face a distinct decision: continue experiencing turmoil under the Conservatives, or opt for consistency with Labour. They can choose further downturn and discord, or embrace optimism and harmony with a reformed Labour Party."

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Over the weekend, the Liberal Democrats are set to unveil proposals for the establishment of a minimum of three new national parks, with locations such as the Chilterns, Surrey Hills, and the North Downs being considered.

The party has committed to investing an additional £50 million in current parks and aims to plant 60 million trees annually.

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