Transport has played little part in the General Election campaign. Transport Correspondent Campbell Docherty looks at the reasons why ...
The Electoral Commission has some adverts playing on commercial radio at the moment.
One which caught my ear featured a spoof phone-in show on 'Radio Chit Chat', for people who "don't do politics" on his show.
Yet a series of callers phones up to talk about traffic jams or the lack of parking spaces in their home town. Each time they are cut off by the DJ for being "too political".
Eventually, the third caller impresses the presenter with the fascinating subject of car cup holders.
The message is clear: transport affects you, so use your vote. But, as far as the main parties have been concerned during this election campaign, it is transport itself that has been a little "too political".
Cup holders is just about the right level for Blair, Howard and Kennedy.
Planes, trains and automobiles have a direct effect on the money in our pockets, the money in the coffers of UK PLC, how we get to work, how we get to school, the air we breathe, the environment we see.
More than any other major set of issues, transport affects us continually from cradle to grave. Health is of critical importance of course, but it only becomes so when you or a member of your family is ill.
Education, likewise, is of little direct significance to childless voters.
But why is it that these issues comprehensively trounce transport when the public is asked on what issues their vote will be cast?
As recently found by MORI, if only one person in every hundred thinks transport is important, why would parties bother with it?
But consider this: perhaps people don't think transport is important because the national dialogue, fed by politicians and their PR teams, has been conditioned to regard it as a secondary issue.
Alistair Darling, Transport Secretary, has been an overwhelming success.
Not for making things happen, not for improving things particularly, but proving a safe pair of hands and deftly kicking thorny controversies into the political long grass.
A Labour third term is likely to press ahead with long-term plans for national road charging, and toll motorways in the short-term.
As soon as this is announced, the controversy will rage with the normally vociferous road and business lobbies.
But why not now? It's no secret these remain on the agenda.
Here in the Midlands we should take more interest than most. With the M6 Toll and the mooted M6 Expressway, we are the guinea pigs.
In aviation the ongoing battle to turn Coventry Airport into a low-cost passenger hub has still to be resolved.
But the confusion it has caused strikes at the heart of the Government's Aviation White paper and raises the spectre of similar airports expanding 'overnight' with little or no Government control across the UK.
But it's not exactly making the Ten o'clock News, is it?
With the dreadful state of New Street Station and still no firm Government commitment to stump up the £100 million or so needed by the Birmingham City Council project to revamp it, we have a few major gripes with the management of the railways too.
The potential thin end of the wedge that the proposed removal of train services between Walsall and Wolverhampton represents? Anyone?
The Birmingham Post put transport issues at the top of our own manifesto for the region - we know how important it is for the West Midlands and the whole of the UK - but the national campaign has stayed on narrow and emotive issues.
The real problem is the fear factor. Political parties are scared of wading into transport because it is complicated and vexed.
A bad news story from start to finish - that's how the politicians view it.
The Tories still have a problem criticising Labour's management of the railways because many of the problems began with the botched privatisation under the last Conservative Government.
Both the Tories and Lib-Dems promise to stabilise the rail network with longer operator franchises and the Tories would inject more money into the network by exploiting the development potential of all Network Rail's unused brownfield land.
Labour has already granted a long franchise, the first to our own Chiltern Railways, so - not for the first time - the differences between the parties would tear a cigarette paper.
To be fair, most multi-issue parties include transport to a greater or lesser extent in their manifestos (you can read them on their websites) and the Green Party, predictably, has it as one of its main priorities.
It is not as if parties always steer clear of transport as a rule.
Last year's successful Conservative Party campaign to take over control of Birmingham City Council put an underground system for Birmingham as priority number one.
Say what you like about the feasibility of the scheme, the fact they recognised the importance of mass-transit in a city clogged with cars is welcome. And it clearly worked.
The West Midlands loses billions every year thanks to the state of our roads and the pathetic state of our public transport network.
It's just a shame the main three parties didn't think to give us a vote on it.