Highways tax gap tops £20bn

Highways Reporters

The Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) has called upon the government to close the gap between excessive motoring taxation and the lack of real investment on road maintenance.

The calls follows new research from the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) that fuel duty and vehicle excise duty raised £31.5 billion in 2009 yet road spending was only £9.9 billion.

The study found that on average, once the £3.5 billion social cost of road transport emissions had been taken
into account, excess motoring taxes cost an average of £293 per person.

Howard Robinson (pictured), RSTA chief executive said: “The Government needs to address the substantial gap between the heavy taxation levied on motorists and the poor state of the road network.

“Some £10 billion is necessary to address the backlog of repairs and potholes which, following the recent severe winters and lack of adequate maintenance investment, is estimated to number over two million.”

In addition to excessive taxation, the poor state of many of our roads means that Britain’s motorists are having to dig deep into their pockets to pay for car repairs.

Insurers Warranty Direct have calculated that nearly every year 6% of vehicles suffered axle or suspension damage resulting from potholes or other road defects.

Last year, the average cost of repairs was £312 with some reaching £4,000. This equates to £3 million per day or £1 billion a year.

Robinsons said: “This is simply unacceptable. Britain’s motorists pay an excessive amount of taxation, for this they should have a decent road network not one that is plagued by under-investment and potholes.”

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