Road charging ‘here 2020’

Time 1:04 pm, November 27, 2012

THE Government and local councils are looking towards road tolling as a means to combat Britain’s crumbling road network, and plans could be implemented as early as 2020.

Traffic is predicted to double over the next 25 years and the Local Government Association believes ministers will be left no other option than to implement road tolling or pay-as-you-drive schemes.

With the Government expected to publish results of a joint review between the Treasury and the Department for Transport within the next couple of weeks, the Highway Agency could be privatised in the same way as water and electricity industries.

The RAC are supporting the introduction of road tolling but only if it makes ‘vehicle taxation more transparent’.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: ‘The current taxation system, where motorist pay tax on their car, duty on fuel and VAT on top of that, has lost all credibility with drivers. They simply don’t see where the £45 billion raised through fuel duty goes.’

‘Road tolling would offer a clearer picture for road users, paying as they use the roads, in the same way we pay our household bills. But UK road users cannot stomach any more increases in tax. Tolling cannot be additional to current systems.’

The introduction and uptake of electric cars has quickly made current taxation systems outdated. Planned fuel duty rises in January, where petrol could increase by 3p/litre, will give an instant boost to government revenue streams, but this isn’t a unsustainable answer.

The RAC added: ‘If you look 15 years down the line, the cars and the way we use them will change. The government needs to overhaul taxation systems to keep up with these changes, as current systems are already out of date and unfair on the UK motorist.’

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