Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, recently vowed that the rollout of electric car charge points will cater to all areas - not just urban centres.
"No matter where you live - be that a city centre or rural village, the north, south, east or west of the country, we're powering up the switch to electric and ensuring no-one gets left behind in the process," he said.
Will he get the balance right? Will those rural chargers be invaluable for drivers who run their cars too low, like the ones now who run out of fuel miles from anywhere, having searched in vain for a rural petrol station? Or will we end up with largely unused chargers at huge public cost as rural drivers have a far greater chance of off-road parking and home charging capacity?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the plan would be "another way we can drive down our dependence on external energy supplies". But is it? For we currently (pun apology) import electricity from France on a huge scale – lacking the capacity to produce enough for our needs now, let alone when petrol and diesel cars are no longer available to buy new.
It's yet another risk the government is taking, yet another £500m of our money they are spending on things that may or may not be useful. Instead of letting new technology enter the transport sector naturally and allowing demand dictate investment, the government are, once again, trying to make investment create demand.
Of course, if they’d decided ten years ago to invest £100bn in a dozen nuclear power stations instead of a ridiculous railway between England’s two largest cities, the whole thing might have made more sense. When it comes to painting a picture of transport policy for the country, this government have barely got the ability to join up the dots.
Martin Day – Party Secretary