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The making of a Labour manifesto: how the message changed

26 May 2017

The following is the transport section of Labour’s election manifesto, For the many, not the few. Words underlined were absent from the draft version leaked to the BBC on 11 May but are included in the final version published on 16 May. Words with a strikethrough were included in the draft but omitted from the final version. 

“Labour will invest in a modern, integrated, accessible and sustainable transport system that is reliable and affordable. 

Our transport systems illustrate the abject failure of Tory policies: relentless deregulation, privatisation and fragmentation. 

They say we get choice and efficency but the reality of their transport privatisations has been that services are less reliable, safety is compromised, fares have risen, ticketing has become complicated and air quality public health has worsened. 

On our railways, we pay some of the highest fares in Europe for an increasingly unreliable and overcrowded services. 

The beneficiaries of public funding siphoned off through transport privatisations have been the rocketing earnings of directors, dividends for shareholders and the coffers of overseas governments. 

A different system is possible. A Labour Government will prioritise public service over private profit. And we will start by bringing our railways back into public ownership, as franchises expire or, in other cases, with franchise reviews or break clauses. We will introduce a Public Ownership of the Railways Bill to repeal the Railways Act 1993 under which the Conservatives privatised our railways. 

In public ownership, we will deliver real improvements for passengers by capping freezing fares, introducing free wi-fi across the network, ensuring safe staffing levels, ending the expansion of driver only operations and introducing legal duties to improve accessibility for disabled people with disabilities

Across the country we will enable councils to provide first-class bus services by extending the powers to re-regulate local bus services to all areas that want them, and we will support the creation of municipal bus companies that are publicly run for passengers not profit. 

Under the Conservatives, bus fares have risen and services have been cut. Labour will introduce regulations to designate and protect routes of critical community value, including those that serve local schools, hospitals and isolated settlements in rural areas. 

A publicly-owned railway system can be the backbone of our plans for integrated transport. It will be built on the platform of Network Rail, already in public ownership, which we will retain whole, working with the devolved administrations. We will consider establishing a new public rolling stock company ensure new rolling stock is publicly-owned and will encourage expansion of public freight services Our rail freight programme on a publicly-owned railway that will leave our roads freer of traffic and our air cleaner. We will facilitate British procurements, including steel, whenever possible. 

A Labour government will invest to regenerate the local and regional economies across the whole country, so that every area gets its fair share of transport investment. 

A Labour government will complete the HS2 high-speed rail line from London through Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester and then into Scotland, consulting with communities affected about the optimal route. We will link HS2 with other rail investments, such as Crossrail of the North (tying together our great Northern cities) and on to the Durham Freight Centre. We will build a new Brighton Main Line for the South East. 

In London, to ensure our capital continues to prosper, we will build Crossrail 2 and devolve responsibilities for running the commuter train lines to the Transport for London authority

To harness the economic potential of new technologies and science, we will complete the Science Vale transport arc that runs from Oxford to Cambridge through Milton Keynes. 

And we will deliver rail electrification and expansion across the whole country, including in Wales and the South West. We will also consult with local communities to re-open branch lines. 

To prepare for global new trade arrangements, we will study the feasibility of port development in Southampton and Avonmouth as well as Liverpool, Hull and Immingham, across the UK. 

We will invest in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland too, working with devolved administrations through the UK National Infrastructure Commission and its devolved counterparts

Our plans will encourage and enable people to get out of their cars, for better health and a cleaner environment. 

Labour will position the UK at the forefront of the development, manufacture and use of ultra low emission vehicles, supporting the creation of clean modes of transport through investment in low emission vehicles. 

We will retrofit thousands of diesel buses in areas with the most severe air quality problems to Euro 6 standards. 

We will better regulate the reform the legislation governing taxi and private carriage hire services, sectors, in the knowledge that new technologies, consumer service and public safety all require the competitive playing field between these sectors to be levelled. introducing national standards to guarantee safety and accessibility, updating regulations to keep pace with technological change and ensuring a level playing field between operators. 

We will invite the National Infrastructure Commission to recommend the next stages for developing and upgrading the National Cycle Network. We reaffirm the commitments in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy. 

We will continue to upgrade our highways and improve roadworks at known bottlenecks. The A1 North, the Severn Bridge and the A30 provide essential connections and require our urgent consideration. We will work with the Welsh Government to scrap the tolls on the Severn Bridge. 

After seven years of stalled progress, Labour will reset the UK’s road safety vision and ambitiously strive for a transport network with zero deaths, reintroducing road safety targets, setting out bold measures that will continuously improve safety standards. 

We will refocus the road building and maintenance programmes on road safety, connecting our communities, feeding public transport hubs and realising untapped economic potential. 

Labour supports the expansion of aviation capacity and we will continue to support the work of the Airports Commission recognises the need for additional airport capacity in the South East. We welcome the work done by the Airports Commission, and we will guarantee that any airport expansion adheres to our tests that require noise issues to be addressed, air quality to be protected, the UK’s climate change obligations met and growth across the country supported.”

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