Crackdown on rip-off petrol prices promised in Labour plan for drivers

“Rip-off” prices at petrol stations and unfair car insurance fees will face a crackdown under Labour, Louise Haigh has said.

The shadow transport secretary also pledged to deliver cross-Pennine railway connection Northern Powerhouse Rail within Labour’s “fiscal rules”.

In her speech to the Labour Party conference, Ms Haigh claimed a Labour government would take huge strides to invest in public transport, reiterating plans to take the railways back into public control and hand local councils control over bus services.

Scotland bus services
Shadow transport minister Louise Haigh (Jonathan Brady/PA)

She added: “Labour won’t stand by as families suffer, we will act. That’s why the plan I have announced today will take action on rip-off prices at the petrol pump, and crack down on unfair car insurance fees hitting people hard.”

The plan, billed as Labour’s own “plan for drivers” would create a new fuel price watchdog to crackdown on rip-off prices, and also aim to tackle unfair car insurance fees in an effort to save drivers cash.

It would also aim to remove planning barriers to build out better transport links, and speed up the rollout of electric vehicle charging points.

It follows Rishi Sunak’s plan for motorists, which was aimed at creating a dividing line with Labour following the Conservative victory in the Uxbridge by-election.

The Tory hold was believed to have been influenced by local motorists’ anger at the expansion of London’s ultra-low emission zone scheme.

Alongside measures to ease costs for drivers, Labour also pledged to reduce traffic on roads with better public transport options.

Ms Haigh described how the party would “deliver the biggest reform of public transport in more than a generation”.

She reaffirmed Labour’s commitment to an independent review into “the failures of HS2” in order to learn lessons on delivering major projects on time and to budget.

Ms Haigh added: “And we will work with our local leaders, mayors, businesses and unions to deliver a credible and transformative programme of transport infrastructure investment, including Northern Powerhouse Rail within our fiscal rules.”

The shadow transport secretary also promised to “overhaul our broken rail system”, adding: “To deliver this bold reform, a Labour government must, and a Labour government will, bring our railways back into public ownership where they belong.

“In place of the fractured, fragmented chaos we see today, we will deliver a unified rail network with passengers at its heart.”

Ms Haigh also promised to give “the public back control of the bus services they depend on”, citing Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham’s bus reforms as a guiding example.

She added: “I can confirm – one of the first acts of a Labour government will be to hand every area of England the power to take back control of its bus services and we will lift the ban on public ownership too.

“Because after years of decline, we want to give the public power again.”

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