A Transport Policy for the 21st Century

If you wanted to travel to France on the ferry, would you expect to board at Dover, then sail on to Portsmouth, Weymouth, Plymouth and Falmouth to pick up more passengers; then cross the Channel to Calais via Guernsey, Jersey and St. Malo? If that happened, people would start buying their own boats to do the trip!!

But this is what happens on a scheduled bus/coach trip. If I want to travel to Birmingham from Bideford in North Devon, the route starts at Westward Ho! and goes via Bideford, Barnstaple, Tiverton on to the M5 to Bridgewater. Then on to Bristol where you might have to change buses. Then on to Gloucester, Cheltenham and finally Birmingham. The journey takes nearly all day. The service is provided by….wait for it….National Express!!! By car the journey takes around three hours, less time if you drive fast, though with the cost of fuel it is more expensive. But it is more convenient.

What if… At every motorway junction we built our bus terminii, multistorey carparks, warehousing and business parks? And specially built eco-friendly coaches that travelled solely up and down the motorways at a cruise control speed. It would mean two changes of vehicle but it would greatly reduce the carbon footprint of the buses and overall journey times would be less.

To bring such a policy into effect will involve changing the system of corporation tax. For example, no corporation tax on new companies that introduce eco-friendly coaches on Motorway only services. Also taxi drivers/owners whose mileage is greater than 50000 per year should be exempt or pay only a nominal road fund tax e.g. £10. Also they should automatically reclaim VAT or customs and excise duty on the fuel they use. If taxi journeys were less expensive, less people would need to run their own cars. Thus reducing the nations carbon footprint even more.

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