London, 29 Sep 2005.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

Tories Must Learn from Election Mistake of Ignoring Transport
With the Conservative party conference looming the ABD reminds prospective leadership candidates that the party could very likely have won the last election had they not sidelined the issues of the UK's crumbling transport network and the government's war on the motorist.
ABD chairman Brian Gregory comments:
"The Conservatives missed a golden opportunity and cannot afford to make the same mistake again. The current government has relentlessly attacked UK drivers and presided over a severe deterioration of our road infrastructure. Yet incredibly the tories came up with hardly any policies which would have changed the situation.
Where were the commitments on fuel duties?
Where were the promises to reinstate bypass projects scrapped by Labour?
Where were the commitments not to implement Labour's disastrous road pricing policy?
Where were the promises to stop fleecing safe drivers with speed cameras and begin tackling the serious issues of dangerous drivers, joyriders and drunk/drugged drivers?
What did they have to say on the ripping off of drivers by local authorities for parking?
Transport is the government's weakest point yet the Tories said virtually nothing and paid for it at the ballot box."
ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries said:
"Transport inadequacy is faced by most of the public and businesses every day of their lives. Health and education issues rightly have priority but inadequacies in these services are faced only by some of the people, some of the time. Our roads are the arteries of the country, yet still we are hearing nothing from the Tories on transport. Our countries economic success depends upon a good transport infrastructure which inevitably means a good road system. We need solutions and promises now from opposition parties, only with an effective opposition is the current government likely to consider changing its path of running down our road network and punishing drivers.
The Tories could also show they mean business by ensuring that Tory local councils cease plans for parking decriminalisation (purely a technical term for more fleecing) and further ineffective speed cameras. They need to provide a valid alternative to Labour's policies of using flawed climate change science as an excuse to run down the road system and punish those who use it. However, it does not bode well that the menu of events for the Conservative Transport Group at the Tory party conference next week shows four speakers on rail, one on bus transport and none on road!"


Notes for Editors