‘Don’t forget the motorist’ warns RAC in CBI road pricing debate
The CBI’s proposals to remove the English road network from the Government budget will stimulate the debate to find a solution to easing congestion in the long term, but it’s critical not to overlook the views of motorists, warns the RAC.
RAC technical director David Bizley says: “We agree that something needs to be done to unlock road capacity but road pricing is not the answer in itself which is why we are calling for a comprehensive review of motoring taxation so that road charges are not seen as an additional tax on driving."
“Figures show that motorists contribute over £48bn* a year to the Exchequer which is more than five times the £9 billion a year that central and local government actually spends on roads. It’s therefore clear that motoring brings in sufficient money to run, and even invest in, our roads, it’s just that the Government chooses to spend this money elsewhere."
“It’s no wonder UK motorists feel they are being treated as a cash cow by government and it’s vital that their opinions are not ignored in this process. Any attempt to introduce road pricing will need to be explained carefully so that people understand the benefits such as incentivising driving at times and in places where roads are least utilised."
“RAC is not opposed to the principle of road pricing and other reasonable measures aimed at making better use of existing roads and reducing congestion as long as other areas of motoring taxation don’t continue to increase. And, if we are to go down this route then it is important that any net increase in motoring taxation revenues is ring-fenced purely for investment in the transport infrastructure.”
* According to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee Sixth Report ‘Taxes and charges on road users’ 14 July 2009.