Manifesto from Alliance of British Drivers says let the market decide over any switch to electric vehicles
The all-important Red Wall has given a big thumbs down to Labour’s plan to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030, according to a new opinion poll.
More than half of eligible voters in Red Wall seats (53 per cent) say they support Rishi Sunak’s decision to slow the path to net zero carbon emissions by delaying the petrol and diesel car ban to 2035.
Only one in five people (19 per cent) oppose the Prime Minister’s move with the remainder saying that they don’t mind either way or don’t know.
But support for Sir Keir Starmer’s backing for 2030 is slight, with only one in four (27 per cent) saying the Labour leader is right to stick to the original, earlier deadline.
One in five (22 per cent) want Mr Sunak to go further, saying that they want the ban scrapped altogether.
The survey, conducted by pollsters Redfield and Wilton Strategies for the Alliance of British Drivers, reveals widespread hostility to the demise of conventionally-powered vehicles.
More than half of Red Wall voters (51 per cent) say that the Government should permit the sale of new cars that rely on carbon-free synthetic fuel rather than petrol and diesel.
The same number (51 per cent) agree with the statement that there is a “war on motorists” going on, with fewer than one in five (17 per cent) expressing disagreement.
The survey coincides with the publication of a five point “Manifesto for Motorists” by the ABD. It says ministers should:
- Scrap the ban on internal combustion engines entirely and let consumers decide on the basis of price and convenience if and when they want to switch to electric vehicles
- Stop reducing speed limits and reinstate the long-established scientific method of setting speed limits which balances safety against the practical need to complete a journey in a reasonable time
- Give local residents the power to overturn so-called Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and so-called clean air zones retrospectively
- Continue to permit the use of hands-free mobile phones in cars – contrary to the recommendation of the Transport Select Committee of the House of Commons
- Spend taxes collected for using roads on increasing road infrastructure and improving roads and fixing potholes
Bob Bull, Chairman of the ABD, said:
“This poll is further dramatic proof that the British public is fed up with being hassled, harassed and heavily taxed every time they get behind the wheel of a car.
“Rishi Sunak has started to see the light with his decision to delay the ban on conventionally-powered cars but he still has a long way to go. As for Sir Keir Starmer, he should wake up and listen to the voters. Only one in four people back his 2030 deadline.
“The truth is we don’t need this meddling by ministers. They should let the market decide when and if electric cars become the norm. Motorists should be free to stick with petrol and diesel cars if they wish and free to switch to an electric vehicle when the technology, especially range and the availability of charging points, persuades them that it is time for a change.
“The same should apply to LTNs and so-called clean air zones. If local residents don’t want them they should be free to tell the council so and get them removed from their neighbourhood.”
The ABD manifesto makes the critical point that fuel technology is changing and that the Government should be encouraging the development of new synthetic carbon-neutral fuels, which can be used in conventional cars and are fast becoming a reality.
Synthetic fuels could save the country a fortune – and much disruption – because they can be supplied at existing petrol stations, which would otherwise become obsolete if the switch to electric vehicles is imposed by the Government.