"How many times have you sat in a traffic jam going nowhere?
Or been packed like a sardine on your train to work?
Or cancelled a trip because you just couldn't face the journey?
Disruption, irritation, delay ....
.... nothing seems to affect our quality of life quite like transport.
But it's not just about our quality of life.
It's about our economy.
A reliable transport system is essential if businesses are to compete effectively and survive in good times and bad.
And it's about our environment too because nearly a quarter of carbon emissions come from transport.
So if we're serious about being the party of enterprise, the environment and quality of life - and we are - we've got to get serious about transport.
For a start, that means getting it right on roads and congestion.
As Conservatives, we know the answer doesn't have to be
That's why we've called on Labour to scrap their retrospective hikes in vehicle excise duty.
They've got nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with plugging the black hole left by Mr Brown's years at the Treasury.
And that's why we've set out our plans for fairness on fuel duty ....
.... so when oil prices go up ..... the Government shares the pain and gives families a helping hand ..... and not a kick in the teeth.
And, ladies and gentlemen, that's why we'd scrap Labour's misguided plans for a spy-in-the-sky national road pricing scheme.
Leave aside the fact that it's an IT disaster waiting to happen.
Just consider the big brother implications.
Labour's plans would track the movement of every vehicle on every road in this country
.... 365 days a year,
..... 24 hours a day.
This from the people who let the personal details of every family in this country get lost in the post!
Ladies and gentlemen, we cannot possibly trust them with all that information about where we go every day of our lives.
It's a step too far for Labour's surveillance state ..... and that is why cancelling this project would be one of our first acts in Government.
Alternatives to the car
What Labour just don't get, is that if we're to tackle congestion, we need to give drivers a real alternative to sitting in a traffic jam.
That means, firstly, addressing the reasons that put people off public transport.
As Boris did, with his inspired decision to ban alcohol on the tube in week one of his administration ....
..... to produce a better, more family friendly atmosphere on public transport.
Secondly, it means working with - not against - local authorities.
So no more using the Transport Innovation Fund to bully our towns and cities into congestion charging.
Instead, we'd free up that funding for innovative local solutions on issues like buses and cycling .....
..... which have so much potential to provide alternatives to the car.
And thirdly, of course, it means tackling over-crowding.
You won't tempt people out of their cars and on to trains if they can't physically squeeze into the carriages.
For years now, Labour have presided over levels of overcrowding which would illegal for the transportation of animals.
Simple measures, desperately needed, like longer trains and longer platforms, are painfully slow in coming.
Well, where they don't do anything ..... we will.
We'll put an end to the excessive Whitehall interference with the railways which is now getting in the way of delivering the new capacity we need.
And we'll make Network Rail accountable to its customers to learn the lessons of the New Year fiasco that left thousands of passengers stranded and vitally important freight undelivered.
And we'll give longer franchises to train operators
.... giving them the certainty they need to step up private sector investment in the railway.
However, with those longer franchises would come more effective remedies crack down on any operator that fails its customers.
Because, be clear .... in government, we'd always stand up for the passenger.
High Speed Rail
But there's one really big change I want to talk about today.
So often in this nation's history, new transport links have helped push forward progress and prosperity.
In the 19th century it was the steam locomotive.
In the 20th, it was our motorways and airports.
In today's world, I believe it can be high speed rail.
Earlier this year, the UK's first 68 mile stretch of high speed rail opened from the Channel Tunnel.
That's great - but it's thirty years behind France.
By 2020, the European high speed network will have reached 15,000km .....
...... linking major cities as far away as Sweden, Italy and Poland.
Well I believe the time has come for us to start catching up
.... to lay the foundations for a high speed future for Britain.
The benefits are clear.
Firstly, high speed rail could relieve nightmare levels of over-crowding by freeing up space for more commuter services on existing lines ....
.... alongside more paths for freight, taking hundreds of lorries off our congested roads.
Secondly, it could generate huge economic benefits....
.... a full high speed network could add £60 billion to the UK's wealth, with £5.2 billion for Birmingham alone.
Thirdly, high speed rail could help heal long standing divisions in our economy by shrinking the distance between north and south.
It could do so much to close the north-south divide ...
..... with the twin benefits of relieving pressure on land and housing in the south east....
... and bringing more jobs and prosperity to our northern towns and cities.
And, of course, high speed rail delivers for the environment as well.
The latest generation of high speed trains emit 50 times less carbon than cars and 70 times less than flying.
High speed rail could take thousands of car journeys off our roads.
With a choice between a train from Manchester to London in an hour and a quarter and sitting in traffic on the M1 and the M6, I know which I'd choose.
And, ladies and gentlemen, it is clear that high speed rail could transform the debate on Heathrow.
Evidence from right around Europe clearly shows that high speed rail provides a viable and attractive alternative to short haul flights.
A high speed link from St Pancras to Heathrow, connecting to the north, could replace up to 66,500 flights a year.
That would free up almost a third of the capacity that would be provided if a third runway were built.
A national high speed network could provide around 44% of that capacity with the potential to rise much further as the European network improves and expands.
And it could deliver this without the environmental penalties of a third runway.
And be in no doubt, those penalties are considerable.
Thousands more people living with aircraft noise in areas as far apart as Windsor and Brixton.
Real health damage to children with asthma in the areas around the airport ....
..... and the risk, in the words of the Government's own environment advisers .... of, quote, "increased morbidity and
And being realistic ..... the 222,000 more flights a third runway would involve .... the equivalent of bolting on to Heathrow a new airport the size of Gatwick .... would make it much harder to meet the demanding targets our nation has set itself for tackling climate change.
Add to this, the fact that the economic arguments in favour of expansion have never seriously considered the alternative ways to relieve over-crowding at Heathrow ....
.... and the path to take becomes obvious.
This is one of the hardest decisions we've faced as a party and we will not run away from it.
That's why I can announce this morning that a Conservative Government would say no to a third runway at Heathrow .....
Instead we would give the go ahead for the next phase of high speed rail in the UK ....
..... a new line between Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and London.
That would mean Birmingham to London in 45 minutes and Leeds to London in less than the time you'll take listening to this debate.
We'd target construction to begin in 2015 with full completion by 2027.
Yes, this is a long term project.
Yes, these are very difficult economic times.
But this country can no longer put off the decisions necessary to deliver the transport improvements we desperately need,
...... decisions that Labour have shown themselves so manifestly incapable of taking.
In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, the case for high speed rail is clear.
It would generate huge economic benefits.
It would dramatically improve transport links between north and south.
And it would give a vitally important boost to our efforts to protect future generations from catastrophic climate change.
I believe that this announcement signals momentous step forward for Britain's transport infrastructure.
It will leave a lasting legacy for the future.
And it will lay the foundations for a high speed network that I believe will one day stretch across the country.