Monday, 4 October 2010

Selective Conservative Home

Conservative Home has a rolling blog of policy announcements and as it happens I stumbled across the speech by Philip Hammond which was shown on the web.

Much has been made of his announcement about the HS2 link, closure of the M4 bus lane (Guardian - follow the link) but why no mention of his announcement that with electric cars rolling of production lines in 2011, it was his intention to provide charging points across the country? Why no reporting on this - maybe because the first questions that will be asked are 'how much' and 'who's paying'? Plus of course the question of where all this energy is coming from? A comment made to me today stated that they are just shifting demand by convincing us of the need to reduce domestic consumption so that there will be sufficient electricity to power these electric cars. Cynical maybe - but true!

Writing in the Financial Times, Jim Pickard notes "This means the route (if it ever gets built) will split just north of Birmingham...." (my emphasis). If it ever gets built? C'mon Jim, of course it will get built and, as IanPJ on Politics tweeted earlier today, the reason is this.
"Although many aspects of transport policy come under national governments, it makes sense for the European single market to have a single transport infrastructure.......The EU also promotes major transport infrastructure projects, the so-called Trans-European Networks (TENs). Among priority projects are.......several north-south and east-west rail upgrades."
 Anyone who has followed the TEN-T programme will be only too aware that the EU is in the process of assuming control of all matters transport - be that road, rail or marine. No doubt the much-heralded Referendum Lock Bill (RLB) will not appear before that happens! Of course, were the RLB in place the Coalition would argue that there is no loss of power. Err, excuse me? So the ability for a country to decide its own transport policies is not a loss of power?

The EU website linked to earlier ends:
"The Commission issued a ten-year action plan for the transport sector in 2001. A mid-term review in 2006 said the plan should now concentrate on making railways more competitive, introducing a ports policy, developing transport systems making use of the latest technology, charging for infrastructure use, producing more biofuels and finding ways to make towns and cities less congested."
Now, courtesy of The Albion Alliance Presents, combine that statement with this set of stats released today by Eurostat. (Clink on go to source). You don't have to be Einstein to work out where this latest set of stats is heading, especially when combined with the TEN-T programme.

In the years to come, remember folks  you heard it here first!


Mark Wadsworth said...

All sounds perfectly plausible to me. I still think HS2 is a good idea though.

Witterings From Witney said...

You obvious entitled to your view MW, however given the choice, were we a self-governing nation, I can think of more worthy causes!