How Will The Upcoming June Elections Affect You?
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  • How will the upcoming June elecions affect you? An insight from the motoring world
  • 28 April 2017
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    How will the upcoming June elecions affect you? An insight from the motoring world

    Here at Howard's we think it’s important to be aware and ready, we are also big believers in having the best driving experience possible! That's why we have written this article all about the upcoming general election and how it could affect the motoring world.
The upcoming elections will inevitably bring change, and we believe that as part of this should be focused on road investment and motoring regulations. Whilst there will obviously be a heavy focus on issues such as Brexit, the RAC are rallying behind a motoring sector initiative. Their chief executive officer has written to all the political party leader about the subject.
So, what exactly does a motoring sector giant think needs focusing on? We’ve got the lowdown.

1. Push ahead with Road investment Strategy

Following the £15 billion investment in schemes with a focus on improved journey experience and time ( things like roll-out smart motorways) another road investment is due to commence in 2021. This must remain a priority, and the new government should secure future funding to ensure further work is carried out. Road quality has been a recent hot topic so here’s hoping they organise and ensure some better roads! Future Road Investment Strategy is key in the development and quality of the UK’s roads. It needs to be carefully approached and developed in such a way as to attain maximum benefit to UK roads.

2. Improvement of local roads

As mentioned above, the quality of roads is something that is hotly debated. We’re sure that everyone reading this has discussed the pot holes they drive through on the way to the shops or work and been pretty frustrated. And for those who haven’t discussed it, we’re sure you’ve flinched as you feel and hear the aggressive bounce of your vehicle when coming across one! Years of harsh weather conditions and vast underfunding have led to really poor road surface conditions to become an ever increasing problem. The next government needs to recognise the importance of local roads and focus on bringing them up to scratch with a long term investment into maintenance.

It has recently been announced that it would take an estimated 14 years to fix all the roads in Britain and cost an approximately £12 billion. The LGA are saying that £1 billion a year should be dedicated to this, this would be the equivalent of using 2p per litre of existing fuel duty. The sooner this can be tackled the better as it has also been stated that one in six local roads face closure by 2022 should nothing be done, this is one alarming figure.

3. Deal with unfair parking practices

The relationship between motorist and the private parking sector has never been good. We’ve all been gobsmacked at how much somewhere can charge for providing the simple solution to convenient parking. Cost is not the only bugbear, there is the dreaded fine and parking tickets too! Many of us have found ourselves in a really frustrating situation and nearly all of us have developed an irrational dislike towards parking wardens.

What would be great to see in the future is a minimum standard of conduct when companies are attempting to retrieve a fine, a universal and more transparent system of parking rules and a more effective appeals process. In doing so, it would be hoped that, this very strained relationship can see some positive development and make for a much more positive experience.

4. Cap Insurance Premium Tax and Fuel Duty increases

Insurance Premium Tax has doubled in the last 2 years from 6% to 12%, and as many, if not all of you, may agree this is an extremely substantial rise. Some of the blame has been put on increasingly expensive in-car technologies, that are proving more expensive to fix in the event of a malfunction or accident.The general consensus is that, instead of increasing premiums any further, insurance companies should incentivise safe driving.
Similarly, there should be an initiative to not increase fuel duty.

5. Review change in personal injury discount rates from 2.5% to 0.75%

The recent government ordered change to personal injury discount rates has been deemed ‘reckless’. On average it adds £75 to motorists insurance premiums and is thought to cost the NHS an additional £1 billion annually. Changes have been made to the formula that calculates compensation awards should you be involved in an accident or be affected by botched hospital treatment. It has been proposed that this change should be reversed and instead a system that is fair to all parties be implemented.

6. Air quality and pollution

Given the growing acknowledgment of environmental issues and the promotion to tackle what is causing a decline in environmental quality. The UK government is legally obliged to produce an air quality strategy yearly. What we would hope to see in upcoming years, is a focus not just on road transport but based on actual evidence.
Vehicles which contribute the most should be dealt with first e.g buses, vans and taxi. In previous governments there was an initiative to encourage drivers to switch to diesel vehicles and any switch should include being fair to them.

Extension of the plug-in grant scheme and changes to the Vehicle Excise Duty have been introduced to boost the investments in ultra low emission vehicles. In the future we would like to see an even more extensive and expanded Electric Vehicle system. There should be moves made towards making EV’s the future of the automotive industry and in the meantime advice and guidance should be supplied to local authorities to help reduce emissions such as road calming measures to minimise congestion.

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