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New transport secretary announced

  • Philip Hammond named as roads boss
  • Coalition policy differences exposed
  • Emergency Budget on the way
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The UK's new secretary of state for transport will be Conservative MP Philip Hammond.

With the Conservatives' failure to reach an overall majority in the General Election, it remains to be seen which of the party's road-related pledges will survive the Liberal Democrat and Conservative coalition.

Road-related policy
Here are some of the major areas of interest for motorists and how the two parties differ.

Fuel duty: Prior to the election, the Conservatives had pledged to introduce a 'fair fuel stabiliser' to cut fuel duty as oil prices rise and increase it as oil prices fall, while the Lib Dems had promised to increase fuel duty in line with economic growth.

Green issues: The Conservatives said that they would introduce a national network of charging points for electric and plug-in hybrids, while also promising to use extra revenue from 'green' taxes to reduce taxation elsewhere.

The Lib Dems pledged to deliver a 40% cut in greenhouse emissions by 2020, rising to 100% by 2050. However, the Lib Dems have also said they will cut major roads budgets and spend the money on switching road freight to the railway network.

Nick Clegg's party is committed in the long-term to a 'revenue-neutral' road-user pricing scheme on motorways and trunk roads.

What happens next?
The likelihood is that motorists will have to pay more in tax and duty, but this will not become clear until the new Government holds an emergency Budget within the next 50 days.

One thing is certain, though, there won't be any big new projects announced, the incoming administration will be concentrating solely on the economy for the foreseeable future.

Emergency Budget
We'll be covering this live on whatcar.com, so make sure you check back for more details.