Maintenance plea as motorists pay £1,000 a year in tax

14/10/2013
Highways Reporters



Local councils are calling for a huge rise in road maintenance spending after analysis showed that the average motorist is paying more than £1,000 a year to the Treasury in charges and taxes.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, said it is time for a fairer deal for motorists and long-overdue Government investment in our crumbling road network.

Government collects around £38 billion a year in taxation through Vehicle Excise Duty, fuel duty and VAT on fuel.

With 34 million cars on the UK's roads, it means the average driver is now paying the Treasury £1,117 each year.

Local authorities are having to bear the brunt of public sector cuts and will have seen their highways maintenance budgets cut by 20% by 2015.

In comparison, councils receive an average of £35 from each motorist a year through parking, having cut charges in real terms.

Cllr Peter Box, Chair of the LGA's Economy and Transport Board, said: "Councils are on the side of hard-pressed motorists, keeping a lid on parking charges and fixing more potholes than ever before, in the face of deep funding cuts imposed by the Government.

"The stark reality is that the average car driver is paying 30 times more to fill the Treasury's coffers to use a transport system that is crumbling under decades of underfunding.

"The backlog in repairs is growing longer each year with the town hall bill to clear it at £10.5 billion and rising.

"That is why councils now need increased and consistent highways funding to invest in the widespread resurfacing projects desperately needed for a long-term improvement."

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