Shropshire MEP Jill Seymour has spelled out a six-point UKIP plan which she claims will help put British road and rail travel back in the fast lane.
In her speech to the Doncaster conference this weekend, the Telford-based politician, who is UKIP’s transport spokesman, said the party would scrap the £55 billion ‘white elephant’ High Speed 2 rail link, and block the introduction of road tolls or pay-as-you-go pricing.
She also outlined the party’s plan for a new ‘Brit Disc’ which all foreign drivers would have to display in their cars, to prove they had paid for the right to use our roads.
Other key policy announcements included a promise to retain concessionary bus passes for pensioners and disabled people, but to ditch the £5,000 taxpayer-funded subsidy currently given to anyone who buys a new electric vehicle – a scheme she dismissed as ‘madness’.
And Mrs Seymour told delegates that UKIP would also abandon the EU’s Certificate of Professional Competence for lorry drivers, which she described as “expensive, over-complicated, and causing many truck and bus drivers to either lose their jobs, or take early retirement”.
Mrs Seymour, who represents UKIP on the European Parliament’s transport committee, said: “We want to create an accessible and efficient transport network that puts Britain in the fast lane.
“A network which is free from outside interference, which will not price people out of the public transport market, and does not place an unfair burden on road users who have borne the brunt of the money-grabbing taxman for years.
“We want a transport system where foreign vehicle owners pay their fair share towards the upkeep of our roads, and which allows our haulage industry to thrive.
“And we want a transport network which does not steamroller an HS2 line through people’s homes and communities in the name of vanity, but listens instead to what rail users have to say.”
On the HS2 debate, Mrs Seymour added: “Whilst the Conservatives and Labour parties continue to support HS2, I simply do not find the arguments compelling or proven. There is no business case.”
She saidcharging tolls to use our busiest motorways or trunk roads was “adding insult to injury to the already over-burdened British driver”.
“The taxes we already pay as road users should be more than enough to afford the best road network in the world.”
Explaining how the party’s new ‘Brit Disc’ system would operate, she said: “UKIP would introduce a port of entry charge, which would apply to every single foreign-registered vehicle entering the UK.
“Proof of payment would have to be displayed on a Brit Disc . . . a time-sensitive document displayed on the inside of the windscreen.
“There has been an increase in foreign-registered vehicles on the UK’s roads, where some skip safety checks, or escape fines.
“I believe we should have a record of every vehicle using our roads, and they should all contribute to the upkeep and maintenance. Several other countries already use this system with great success.”
Listen to Jill’s speech to the conference in full here: