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Friday, 9 March, 2001, 10:22 GMT
Conservatives: Transport and environment

Find out more about Conservative Party policies on transport and the environment.


RAIL CRISIS

The Conservative Party says it is still committed to the privatisation programme it began.

Although the policy has attracted fierce criticism, the party believes increased usage of the railways is a positive result of privatisation. It says a Conservative government would oversee a "second railway renaissance" to build on this achievement.

They propose measures to cut standing on cramped trains and queuing for tickets.

They also promise to increase trains on Sundays and to open new stations.

There would be tougher performance targets and penalties for failure to deliver.

A Conservative government would introduce specific rail safety legislation - as in aviation - and a new independent rail accident investigation branch of the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions.

A new National Rail Regulator would have responsibility for safety as well as performance.


PUBLIC TRANSPORT VERSUS THE CAR

"Everyday misery." That's Labour's record on transport say the Conservatives.

The Conservative party does not see the car and public transport as mutually exclusive. The they are both necessary and we need more of them, it says.

The Conservatives would also get rid of what they see as Labour's anti-car ideology. "There's no point", they say, "investing billions in the railways if you miss your train because you're stuck in traffic." So the Conservatives will target the road-building programme on getting unsuitable traffic off unsuitable roads.

They also want to reduce congestion by charging lane rental to companies who dig up the road.

A new Roads Inspectorate would be set up to set standards for local councils and the Highway Agency. It will demand action on poor and dangerous roads, or where roads cause an environmental problem.

A Conservative government would abolish Labour's Integrated Transport Commission, a move which the party says would save millions of pounds in bureaucracy and waste.


LONDON UNDERGROUND

While the Conservative Party says that it opposes what it describes as Labour's "botched plans to privatise the Tube", its policies do not hand over complete control to the Mayor of London's transport body and commissioner.

The party says that it "work with Bob Kiley, London's transport commissioner, to deliver new investment and practical improvements" which would include a no-strike agreement.

The party says that it accepts the case for a "unified management" of the Tube under the Transport Commissioner but insists that the government - not London's devolved administration would "devise a long-term financial framework" first involving the private sector.


CLIMATE CHANGE

The Conservatives attacked Labour's handling of The Hague climate talks in 2000 saying that deputy prime minister John Prescott's "crash-bang-wallop" style had been one of the key reasons why the talks failed.

The Conservative 'Blue-Green Agenda' states that it will honour the Kyoto targets for cutting greenhouse emissions and introduce targeted incentives and tradable emissions permits to replace the Climate Change Levy.

The party says that its environmental policies would focus on how to minimise waste and encourage recycling to reduce the need for large-scale waste disposal and incineration.

The Conservatives say that they are the greenest mainstream party by virtue of their protection of the greenbelt during 18 years in office and work on water and air quality.


THE COST OF FUEL

The Conservatives say that since taking office in 1997 Labour has put up the price of fuel by 16p through increased taxation.

The party has upped its previous commitment to an immediate tax cut of 3p per litre to 6p per litre in its first Budget.


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