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Conservatives involved in hypocrisy row over their anti-Ulez commitment

Conservatives involved in hypocrisy row over their anti-Ulez commitment
Conservatives involved in hypocrisy row over their anti-Ulez commitment

 


The Tories are embroiled in a row over hypocrisy following Rishi Sunak's support for the Drivers' Bill to cut Ulez, ban paying road taxes by the mile and crack down on low traffic neighborhoods (LTN).

The Prime Minister said the bill would form part of his first Kings Speech if re-elected on July 4, promising to end Labour's war on drivers in London and Wales.

But Mr Sunak was accused of hypocrisy after it emerged his own ministers had backed many of the measures he now rails against.

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As chancellor, Mr Sunak is said to have drawn up plans to introduce a per-kilometre road charging system. And in 2022, one of the Prime Minister's transport ministers, Huw Merriman, said London Mayor Sadiq Khan should introduce a road pricing system to replace lost revenue from excise duty on the fuel and vehicles.

Rishi Sunak spoke out against Labour's war on drivers
Rishi Sunak spoke out against Labour's war on drivers (EPA)

Labor also pointed out that Mr Merriman had also suggested Mr Khans Ulez's expansion was a bold attempt to reduce traffic congestion and pollution.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper on Friday ruled out the introduction of any pay-per-mile system and vowed to reverse the Mayor of London's unfair Ulez expansion.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson nominated Ulez for mayor in 2015, calling it a vital move that would extend London's lead as the world's biggest city.

The Conservatives' bill supporting drivers is the party's latest attempt to shore up its core support, with Mr Sunak on course for a 1997-style election runoff.

The Conservatives said they would protect drivers from the draconian policies of local Labor politicians.

The anti-Ulez backlash was widely credited with helping the Conservatives narrowly retain Mr Johnson's old seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the by-election to replace it.

Ulez was introduced by former London Mayor Boris Johnson
Ulez was introduced by former London Mayor Boris Johnson (AP2010)

And the party hopes it can retain motorists' support by factoring in the cost of environmental policies in the general election.

But as well as senior Tories' past support for the Ulez and pay-per-mile schemes, Labor also highlighted senior Tories who have previously supported LTNs.

Conservative chairman Richard Holden said in 2022 that decisions about LTNs should be entirely up to local authorities such as Warrington.

Meanwhile, former transport secretary Grant Shapps has touted pop-up cycle lanes, wider sidewalks, bike and bus-only streets as examples of what people will start to see more of as part of his plans for $250 million in emergency active funding in May 2020.

Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh said The independent: This is blatant hypocrisy from a party in total chaos. It has nothing to offer drivers except reheated announcements, gimmicks and broken promises.

The Conservatives' appalling record is on full display for all to see. Britain has 100 times more potholes than craters on the Moon and car insurance costs are out of control.

Sources

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2/ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/rishi-sunak-ulez-general-election-b2559450.html

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