Undecided how you're going to vote next week? Motor Transport looked through the key party manifestos to see what the new government could mean for the road haulage sector.

Conservative party

Manifesto pledges include:

Road transport:

• Continue a £40bn road and rail investment programme

• Develop the strategic road network,

• Improve transport connections across the country

• Create extra capacity on the railways, bring new lines and stations, and improve existing routes – including for freight.

• Continue commitment to £23 billion National Productivity Investment Fund which includes £1.2bn local roads funding by the end of 2020.


• Almost every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050 with £600m investment by 2020 to help achieve it


• Simplify the tax system

• No rise in VAT

• Corporation Tax to be cut from 20% to 17%

• Reform of business rates with more frequent evaluations.

• Increase the personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate to £50,000 by 2020

• Double the Immigration Skills Charge on companies employing migrant workers to £2,000 a year

• Executive pay packages to be subject to strict annual votes by shareholder.

• Listed companies will have to publish the ratio of executive pay to the broader UK workforce.

• Update the rules that govern mergers and takeovers

• Reduce insurance costs by cracking down on exaggerated and fraudulent whiplash claims



• Maintenance of the Common Travel Area

• Frictionless border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

• Negotiate free trade and customs agreement with the EU

Workers’ rights

• Increase the National Living Wage to 60% of median earnings by 2020

• Greater protection for gig economy workers.

• Companies employing more than 250 people required to publish more data on gender pay gap


• Apprenticeship programmes to be maintained with 3 million apprenticeships to be achieved by 2020.

• Large firms to pass levy funds to small firms in their supply chain and to place apprentices in their supply chains.

Labour Party

Manifesto pledges include:

Road transport

• Create a £250bn Transformation Fund to upgrade UK’s economy and infrastructure over ten years

• Refocus the roads building and maintenance programmes to reconnect communities and feed public transport hubs

• Continue to upgrade highways and improve roadworks at known bottlenecks, with urgent consideration for A1 North, the Severn Bridge and the A30

• Scrap Severn Bridge tolls.

• Complete the Science Vale transport arc, from Oxford to Cambridge through Milton Park.


• Invest in development of low emission vehicles

• Retrofit diesel buses in towns and cities to Euro 6 standards.


• No rises in income tax for those earning below £80,000 a year

• No increases in personal National Insurance Contributions

• No increase to VAT

• Reinstate the lower small-business corporation tax rate.

• Exclude small businesses from plans to introduce quarterly reporting

• National Investment Bank to deliver £250bn of lending power to SMEs

• Reforms to business rates

• Exempt new investment in plant and machinery from valuations

• Scrap quarterly reporting for businesses with a turnover of under £85,000.

• Reverse the privatisation of Royal Mail at the earliest opportunity.


• Negotiate to retain benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union

• No return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

shutterstock Jeremy Corbyn


• Maintain the apprenticeship levy

• Improve the operation of the levy

• Double the number of completed apprenticeships at NVQ level 3 by 2022

• Give employers more say in how the levy is deployed

• Protect the £440 million funding for apprenticeships for SME employers who don’t pay the levy

• Incentivise large employers to over-train numbers of apprentices to fill skills gaps

Workers’ rights

• Give all workers equal rights, whether part-time, full-time, temporary or permanent

• Ban zero hours contracts

• Legislate to ensure that employers recruiting from abroad don’t undercut workers at home

• Guarantee trade unions a right to access workplaces

• Raise the Minimum Wage to the level of the Living Wage for all workers aged 18 or over

• Strengthen TUPE to protect workers transferring between contractors

• Abolish the loophole to the agency workers regulations known as the Swedish derogation.

• Give employment agencies and end-users joint responsibility to guarantee agency workers’ rights

Liberal Democrat Party

Manifesto pledges include:

Road transport

• A £100bn infrastructure investment package with significant investment in road and rail

• Devolution of infrastructure spending to local areas

• Support for the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine initiatives

• Shift more freight from road to rail.

• Develop more links to and within the south-west peninsula

• Encourage the swift take-up of electric and driverless vehicles.

shutterstock Tim Farron


• A Green Transport Act

• An Air Quality Plan

• A diesel scrappage scheme

• A ban on the sale of diesel cars and small vans in the UK by 2025

• Extending Ultra-Low Emission Zones to ten more towns and cities

• The reformation of vehicle taxation to encourage sales of electric and low-emission vehicles

• Development of an electric vehicle infrastructure including universal charging points

• National Infrastructure Commission to take full account of environmental implications of all national infrastructure programmes


• An increase in Corporation Tax from 17% to 20%

• Introduce 1p rise in Income Tax

• A review of business rates to reduce burdens on small firms

• Aim to raise the employee national insurance threshold to the Income Tax threshold

• Reform Capital Gains Tax and dividend tax relief

• Reverse Capital Gains Tax cuts

• Consult on shifting away from a profits-based tax to one that takes account of sales and turnover

• Review the business rates system to lessen burden on SMEs


• Ensure trade continues without customs controls at the border

• Maintain membership of the single market

• A referendum on the final terms of Brexit deal, once negotiated


• Aim to double the number of businesses which hire apprentices

• Develop national colleges as centres of expertise for key sectors

• Ensure all the receipts from the Apprenticeship Levy in England are spent on training

Workers’ Rights

• Reform employment rights in the ‘gig’ economy, based on Taylor report.

• Stamp out abuse of zero-hours contracts.

• Create right to request a fixed contract

• Strengthen enforcement of employment rights

• Scrap employment tribunal fees

Green Party

Manifesto pledges include:

Road transport

• Invest in regional rail links and electrification of existing rail lines, rather than “wasting money” on HS2 and the national major roads programme

• Invest in low traffic neighbourhoods

• Increase incentives to take diesel vehicles off the roads


• Fine car manufacturers who cheated the emissions testing regime

• Create a new Clean Air Act

• Introduce mandatory clean air zone network.


• Protect freedom of movement

• Press to remain within the single market

• A referendum on the deal, with the option to reject the deal and remain in the EU

Workers’ rights

• Introduce universal basic income

• Phase in a 4 day working week

• Abolish zero hours contracts.

• Reduce the gap between the highest and lowest paid

• Increase the minimum wage to £10 an hour by 2020.

• A phased abolition of the cap on employees’ national insurance so that the wealthiest pay more.


• Greater public investment in further and higher education.

• Enable apprenticeships to all qualified young people aged 16-25.

Plaid Cymru

Manifesto pledges include:

• Introduce a £7.5bn investment programme to fund infrastructure projects throughout Wales

• End the business rates system, moving towards a turnover-based system

• Target tax discounts for businesses in Wales

• Introduce a fuel duty regulator to stop rising fuel costs

• Set up a network of specialist National Colleges of Vocational Education, for 14+ and post-compulsory

• Improvements to the A55 in North Wales

Industry comments

RHA national policy director Jack Semple (pictured, right) said the manifesto was lacking in detail. “It’s all very vague on what will happen when we come out of the customs union, which is no surprise, but it is still of concern. It is a known unknown and the manifesto reflects this”.

jack semple microlise

Jack Semple speaks at the Microlise Transport Conference

He added: “In terms of roads it would have been good to see more commitment to ensuring the standard of roads throughout the national road network, to developing roadside information technology and to the provision of good roadside facilities.”

RHA welcomed the manifesto’s commitment to simplifying the tax system but called for the policy to be applied to the tax rules on drivers’ overnight allowances which Semple said have been made “far too complex and confusing by HMRC and completely at odds with any desire to simplify the tax system.”

Semple welcomed the Liberal Democrats' pledge to spend an additional £100bn on infrastructure but queried the party’s approach to diesel.

He said: “We need to see the details of the Ultra Low Emission Zones. TfL which is the toughest regulator in Europe describes Euro-6 trucks and buses as Ultra Low Emission vehicles. Next year new cars - and by 2019 new vans - will also perform to these standards. NOx emissions from HGVs are plummeting and have reduced by a third since 2013. This is not reflected in the public debate so far.”

Howard Cox founder of campaign group FairFuelUK condemned the manifesto’s measures on diesel.

He said: “This party is ill informed and misguided, ignoring the evidence that diesel vehicles are getting cleaner and irresponsibly driving down the value of cars and vans for hard working families and small businesses.

He added: “It is easy for a party to pander to an emotive green argument if it knows that it is never going to get elected.”

FTA national policy head Christopher Snelling welcomed the three main parties’ respective commitments to increase infrastructure spending but warned: “Whichever party is successful at the polls on 8 June, it is imperative that they stand by their manifesto promises on entering government and take immediate steps to implement these infrastructure investment plans.

"This will ensure the continued success of the logistics industry in keeping Britain functioning every day.

"Logistics affects every part of our daily lives and without ensuring that significant levels of investment continue, UK business will be held back and costs in the shops will be higher.”