Can I vote for smart ticketing ? – Part III

If you’ve read Parts I and II of this series of posts, I am beginning to wonder whether I should have titled the the series: “Is it possible to not vote for smart ticketing ?”.

So far, we’ve looked at the Liberal Democrat manifesto and been surprised by the detail of their manifesto commitments, including one for each of smart and integrated ticketing. They also refer off to other detailed documents, such as the Transport for the North strategy. In Part II, we reviewed the Labour manifesto and found that they also made commitments to smart ticketing. So today, is the turn of the Conservatives …

What about the Conservatives ?

Like their (current) coalition partners, transport is covered primarily as one of the means by which a Conservative Government will invest in the nation and support the economic recovery.  The Conservatives are more explicit about their investment plans, although this is perhaps not surprising for the party in power.

Better roads, trains and modern communications

One of only two main headlines for the the Conservatives under their (first) theme of “an economic plan to help you and your family” is: “Better roads, trains and modern communications”. The Conservatives’ commitment to the transport industry is clear and unequivocal.

Conservative manifesto summary

imageThe BBC summarises the Conservatives’ main transport pledges using four headlines bullets – three of which refer to their investment plans:  to invest in the roads, to invest in electrification on the railways and also a specific mention of HS2 and HS3. The fourth pledge that perhaps stands out from the others is the Conservative plans to “reform strike laws” (including on the transport network). These may yet turn out to be the most significant for trade union relationships and the operational-side of any transport business. Perhaps, this is where the Conservatives are showing their true colours ?

… and smart ticketing ?

You may not have expected it at the outset of this series, but you may have guessed it by now – the Conservatives also make specific manifesto commitments with respect to smart ticketing. They are also probably the most explicit on the form of “ticketing product” that they expect to see delivered within the timeframe of the Government, as they specifically refer to “part-time season tickets”.

We will also introduce smart ticketing and part-time
season tickets.

Page 15 – Better roads, trains and modern communications of the Conservative Manifesto


So for smart ticketing (at least), there is cross-party consensus across the three (current) main parties. Hence, actually, you probably can’t vote for smart ticketing, as it is pretty certain that any flavour of Government is going to be committed to rolling out smart ticketing anyway.


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