Motoring organisations are calling for the Government to overhaul the country’s “outdated” tax system to ensure that a higher proportion of the heavy taxation on motorists goes towards fixing and maintaining roads.
The call comes after a survey by the RAC motoring group found that four out of five motorists felt that the money raised by Vehicle Excise Duty and Fuel Tax is not invested properly in roads.
More startlingly, 84% of those asked thought that local roads were deteriorating and 75% said that motorways and main roads were worsening.
The RAC concluded that unless tax receipts were ring-fenced, the poor state of the roads could affect the economy. Last year the Treasury collected more than £5.9 billion in VED and £26.8 billion in fuel tax. In 2010-11, just £8.7 billion was spent on the roads in England.
The Prime Minister is currently looking to attract private investment in roads and a third of motorists surveyed said they are prepared to pay tolls for motorway driving (29%) or city centre congestion charges (33%) if the cost of fuel and car tax was significantly reduced – perhaps signalling a new model for taxing the motorist.
RAC technical director David Bizley said: “Our Report on Motoring shows that Britain’s motorists – and roads – have been left battle-scarred after a further 12 months of bearing the burden of extreme financial conditions.
“Despite this, motorists are willing to pay their taxes, but want the balance of levies to reflect how they live and how the use their vehicle.”
He added: “Our research shows that the UK motorist isn’t being unreasonably demanding – all he or she wants is for more of their motoring taxation to be spent on roads.”