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Infrastructure

National Infrastructure Organisations

  • Network Rail, the Highways Agency, train operating companies and bus operating companies would all be required to become National Infrastructure Organisations (NIOs) under a policy to ensure that infrastructure, which is essential to a functioning society, is not solely operated for the benefit of private shareholders, but in the national interest.

Remove Nude Body Scanners

  • We believe that technologies and solutions exist that are better able to serve transport authorities in carrying out their responsibility in the interests of airport and national security.

Ridesharing and Carpooling

  • Through a series of targeted marketing campaigns and PSA’s (Public Service Announcements) we would encourage carpooling, especially for parents and those who live on the same street with a shared workplace, or workplaces in reasonable walking distance of each other.

  • Ridesharing would be promoted through The Job Centre for those on low or no workplace income and would utilise ridesharing services such as (but not limited to, and purely for example) Uber, as a means of proof for bringing unemployed people into the taxiing profession and as a way to encourage self-employment.

  • As part of this push, MPs localised near each other would be encouraged to carpool around and on the way to parliament, which would double as a method to encourage cross-party conversation and out-of-parliament policy deliberation.

Electric and Alternative Fuel Vehicles

 

  • Incentivise existing fuelling stations to install charging units for electric vehicles to help create a nationwide network and overcome the perception of “range anxiety” amongst consumers.

  • Incentivise existing fuelling stations to install hydrogen fuel pumps.

  • Incentivise research into retrospective modifications to existing vehicles allowing them to run on hydrogen. This would facilitate an easier transition from our dependency on fossil fuels. Also encourage the development of new hydrogen based vehicles (which does not have the same carbon footprint as the manufacture of lithium ion batteries.)

  • As the number of electric vehicles increases, a growing amount of battery storage would be connected to the National Grid. This storage can be used to supply power back into the grid when it’s under heavy load, and store up power when there is excess generation capacity. We will incentivise electric car owners to allow their cars to be used as dynamic storage batteries for the grid, and help smooth out variable demand.

Railways

  • Develop a long-term plan for complete electrification of the national rail network, replacing all diesel trains with electric multiple-units. This has the benefit of reduced emissions, improved efficiency, and quieter, more comfortable trains. Alongside electrification, signalling should be updated to ETCS level 2 or 3 standard for improved safety and efficiency.

  • Investigate feasibility of building a high speed rail network that connects our ten largest cities (including Cardiff) to the European high speed network via HS1.

  • Examine which areas of the United Kingdom were most detrimentally affected by the changes in the Beeching Reports, exploring whether it would be economically feasible to bring back any formerly established railways.

  • HS2 will be scrapped immediately.

National Infrastructure in the National Interest

  • Too much of the national infrastructure that society relies heavily upon is operated by private companies for private profit. The predictable result being:

  1. Profits line the pockets of shareholders, instead of being used to improve services

  2. Shareholders often hide their dividends in tax havens, withholding much needed tax revenue that should be used to benefit society

  3. Commercial interest is put before public interest

  4. Infrastructure improvements are lacklustre or dismissed in order to keep running costs down and profits up.

Community Interest Companies

  • In order to ensure that essential infrastructure is run in the interests of wider society, any organisation performing a function that is essential to the UK’s infrastructure (a National Infrastructure Organisation or NIO) will be required to be a Community Interest Company, operated for the benefit of the British public. This has a few benefits:

  1. Organisations are subject to the community interest test, requiring them to ensure their activities benefit their community (the British public)

  2. Profits must be reinvested, ensuring surpluses go towards service improvement

  3. Dividends are still acceptable, allowing for existing or new shareholders to maintain their stake and reap financial rewards for investing in the furtherance of the public benefit aims of the organisation

  • In addition to the public interest test, additional requirements will be placed upon NIOs:

  1. All staff must receive at least a living wage

  2. The highest pay must not exceed 5 times the national average wage

  3. Full financial accounts must be published openly, with no charge for access

  4. An annual report must be produced providing a breakdown of money spent on service improvement and on dividends, with each dividend payment itemised, including the recipient

  • Requiring these will help to ensure NIOs are responsible, transparent businesses.

Infrastructure

  • A number of existing organisations are specifically targeted by this policy:

  1. Network Rail

  2. Royal Mail

  3. BT

  4. Highways Agency

  5. Existing Toll Roads

  6. Mobile phone masts

  7. State-funded Schools

  8. NHS Hospitals, GP surgeries and health centres

  9. Prisons and courts

  10. Energy generation and distribution (power stations, gas pipes, water pipes etc.)

  • To be an effective policy, it will also cover any organisation performing one of the following functions:

  1. Operating public rail services

  2. Operating public bus services

  3. All potholes will be repaired within 12 months nationwide.

  4. A team of designated officials will oversee all road repairs to ensure they are carried out in a prompt manner. No longer will we see lanes/roads closed with no work occurring, seen all too often by commuters and travellers on today’s roads.

  5. A massive infrastructure rebuilding will occur over 10 years to provide world class roads and mag-lev trains all over the country.

  • A Compromise on Nationalisation

NIOs are intended to provide the basic infrastructure that is essentially to a functioning society in a way that is protected from the volatility of shareholder whims. They provide the basics for innovators to provide services on top of, and without simply placing the entire service burden onto, the state through nationalisation.