Westminster Hall – Motoring Debate

John Leech MP in Westminster Hall Debate

This morning I was speaking on behalf of the Lib Dems in the Westminster Hall debate on the Government’s policy on motoring. There is a real myth that motoring has become more expensive, but in real terms the cost of motoring has fallen by 13% since 1997, while the cost of travelling by bus or coach has risen in real terms by 17% and rail travel costs have risen by 7%.

As well as talking about the cost of motoring I spent some time talking about safety on our roads and my support for a reduction in the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph on local roads, the need to reduce the drink drive limit to bring us into step with most of the rest of western Europe, and the safety benefits of speed cameras – with particular reference to the impact of the cameras on Princess Road in my constituency, where the cameras (which I campaigned to be installed as a Councillor many years ago) have significantly reduced the number of accidents on the road.

We don’t have many transport debates, which is a real shame, but it is not that surprising when you consider that nobody other than Nigel Evans, who called the debate, and the transport spokesmen from the 3 parties was there to speak (although there were a couple of interventions)!

4 responses to “Westminster Hall – Motoring Debate

  1. Hi David, just a thought being a black cab driver in Manchester for the last 8 years with over 100,ooo stundents in the city and having the busiest bus route in Europe(a bus every 59 seconds along Wilmslow road) to mainly serve these students. Would it not make sense to start our universities at 10am also finishing an hour later reducing the massive consentration of buses which could be reduced by a least a third rush hour not 2 hrs any more but 3 hrs giving commuters time to get to work and reducing the number of buses (which we have to subsidise with council tax money).
    This could be done on a trail bases to see if it does improve traffic flow only down side its free!(example there are so many buses going to picaddilly in the morning people get off a peters square and walk the last 1/2 mile because the buses are back to back they take another 10/15 mins to get to picaddilly bus station)also the trams run on this last 1/2 mile as well.
    Food for thought it does not always cost millions to change things e.g the americans spent millions developing the ball point pen for space the said they needed it to write when upsidedown.The russians they just used a pencil.

    • Dear Sean,
      I hear what you’re saying about congestion. I think it would be better if instead of loads of buses there was a proper train line. This would be integrated into the national train network and ideally would be publically owned and managed.
      Of course the alternative is to have more cyclists, which are a very clean option, and massively reduce NHS treatment costs due to better health.
      So: somehow force people to ride bikes! It will result in a healthier, happier population with a cleaner environment to boot… And if necessary, the rider and bike can hop on the train / in a taxi when cycling becomes impractical for any reason.

  2. I like what you said here, John. Can we get the transport system more integrated though please. I believe it’s very good near Westminster!!!!!!!
    The Manchester Metrolink tram-style train is disproportionately expensive in any train journey too. And you can’t put bikes on it.
    How can we make roads more cycling friendly for those scared of the traffic?
    More dedicated cycle bits on roads please.
    Far more contra-flow cycle ways down oneway streets please!!! Lots lots more of those. They make real sense.
    Better options for cyclists at traffic lights. It’s best if we can go as soon as it’s safe and then we’re out of the way!

  3. Oh dear. John – what planet do you live on? The cost of petrol has gone up so much recently that I am now paying an extra £100 a month more compared to the same time last year. I have a family to support, and I simply cannot afford to run my car anymore – all non-essential trips are cancelled. Public transport is slow, inconvenient, dirty and dangerous. I cannot take my kids out on trips, and my wife has had to sell her car.

    How you can support tax levels of 66% on fuel is just utterly disgusting.

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