Bill Esterson MP, transport minister for the Labour Party, made claims this morning that there is an urgent need for investment in transport alternatives other than electric vehicles (EVs) if the UK is successfully going to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The shadow transport minister made a ministerial address at the Highways UK conference in Birmingham, addressing his views on the state of the British transport system as well as the Labour party’s opinions on the UK’s Net Zero goal.

Esterson said:

We need to invest in multiple options. There are many ways to Net Zero: the role of hydrogen, a circular economy, nuclear energy tech, carbon capture, the list could go on forever. These are all going to help us get there, we will support the investment in different technologies as much as we can,”

Esterson made clear that the Labour party are advocating for a 2030 target rather Rishi Sunak’s recent delay to 2035 regarding the ban on petrol and diesel cars in the UK.

The SMMT recently issued warnings of a potential £3,400 EV tax hike in the UK in 2024 without an urgent re-write of the Brexit deal between the EU and UK.

Esterson added:

It is key to understand that we are still in the early stages towards achieving the Net Zero goal and we don’t know which solutions are going to be the dominant ones,”

After a question from an audience member on Labour’s first priority as a party if they were to soon come into power, Esterson commented that repairs to transport – notably to potholes – is a big priority for the party. He also added a review of major capital projects in transport and acquiring private sector investment to the list of party priorities.

The shadow transport minister also commented on the importance of public opinion in the journey to creating a better future for transport, he said:

“There’s not going to be any new money so please do make us suggestions. Michael Gove says that we have enough experts in the public and I say that the expert’s time has come.”

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