While we should always endeavour to have the best possible public transport and viable options to be able to not travel by car, I very much welcome that our Conservative Prime Minister has come out clearly on the side of the freedom of people to use their cars, to stop the demonisation of motorists, and to have polices designed to assist motorists, such as greater investment in maintaining our road network.
The contrast with Labour could not be starker, evidenced by where they have power. The ULEZ expansion by London’s Labour Mayor is taxing the poorest drivers, ignoring local views and his own impact assessment which concluded the expansion would have a ‘minor to negligible’ effect on air pollution in Greater London. In Wales, the new blanket 20mph speed limit is unworkable and unenforceable. Creating frustration in sensible drivers and artificially making their journeys take longer, does not improve road safety.
But closer to home we’ve seen Labour’s war on motorists attempted here in Crawley due to their control of Crawley Borough Council, but thankfully we Conservatives have been strong enough to keep them at bay. I will never forget the attempted so called ‘Mini-Holland’ scheme that Crawley Labour wanted to inflict on Crawley. A plan that had as its highlights, the narrowing of roads, constructing raised tables to navigate at the entrances and exits of local estates, and lengthening journeys by blocking off access completely to some roads as per the so called ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhoods that have blighted other parts of the country.
I also recall Labour in Crawley wanting the disastrous ‘pop-up cycle lane’ in Three Bridges to remain to place for much longer, while myself and Conservative colleagues were pressing hard for its removal.
I would like to use trains more, but unfortunately, they have been subject to strikes and industrial action for a long period of time, that makes the whole service unreliable to use. I also haven’t forgotten seeing the photos of Labour councillors posing for photos on the picket line with striking rail workers at Three Bridges Station, while Crawley residents suffer disruption.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
11th October 2023