Currently reading: Budget 2020: How the Government’s plans will affect motorists
Key automotive policies include a £2.5bn pothole repair budget and over £1bn investment in EVs
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4 mins read
11 March 2020

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, today unveiled the Government’s Budget for 2020.

Among headline announcements including over £600bn in investment in infrastructure projects and unlimited resources for supporting the NHS, Boris Johnson’s Government revealed several important plans that are relevant for motorists.

These are the parts of the Budget that will affect the UK’s drivers and roads.

VED changes and consultation

The budget confirmed an exemption of zero-emission cars from the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) ‘expensive car supplement’ - an additional tax added to cars priced over £40,000. The Government is also publishing a call for evidence to explore how VED can be used to encourage EVs and reduce overall vehicle CO2 emissions.

Fuel duty remains frozen for another year

Fuel duty has been frozen for the 10th successive year since 2010. Current fuel duty rates remain at 57.95 pence per litre for petrol, diesel, biodiesel and bioethanol; 31.61 pence per kg on liquified petroleum gas (LPG); 24.70 pence per kg on natural gas used as fuel in vehicles, for example biogas; 10.70 pence per litre on ‘fuel oil’ burned in a furnace or used in heating. Sunak claims the continued freeze provides a saving to drivers of £1,200 compared with 2010.

Investment for electric vehicles

The Government has promised a ‘comprehensive package of tax and spending reforms’ to make it cheaper to buy zero- and low-emission vehicles. Key to this is the extension of the plug-in car grant until 2022/23. However, its value has now been reduced to £3,000 (down from £3,500) and now excludes cars over £50,000. The Chancellor has set aside £403m to fund this, alongside over £129m to extend the plug-in van grant, taxi and motorcycle grants for the same period.

Upwards of £900 million is to be invested in nuclear fusion, space and electric vehicles, although, for the moment, the Government has not revealed how much of this will be allotted to EVs. £500 million has been set aside to support the roll-out of new rapid charging hubs so that drivers will be ‘never more than 30 miles away’ from a charger. A further £1 billion is to be invested in green transport solutions.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: "we are pleased to see the Chancellor find room in his Budget to help make zero emission motoring a more viable option for more drivers – essential if we are to begin to meet extremely challenging environmental ambitions.

"The continuation of a plug-in car grant is an essential step in the right direction and, alongside the removal of the premium car surcharge on VED and reduction in company car tax for these vehicles, as well as a strategic review of national charging infrastructure requirements, should help encourage consumers and support the beginnings of a market transition."

He added: “Of course, much more needs to be done to maximise the opportunities as we transition the UK market and industry to new technologies, and the promised spending review will be a crucial moment for government to set out a long term vision for transport decarbonisation and industry investment in the UK.”

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Biggest ever investment in English strategic roads

Today marked the largest ever investment in English strategic roads, with the Government promising to lay over £27bn worth of tarmac between 2020 and 2050, including 20 connections to ports and airports, over 100 junctions and over 4000 miles of road. Roads singled out for particular investment include the A417 in the South West, the East's A428, the A46 in the Midlands and the crucial A303.

The money will progress dualling the A66 Trans-Pennine and upgrading the A46 Newark bypass to address congestion. It will also help build the Lower Thames Crossing, boosting road capacity across the Thames east of London by 90%, improve the M60 Simister Island in Manchester to reduce delays, add a new dual-carriageway and two-mile tunnel in the South West to accelerate travel on the A303 and remove traffic from Stonehenge. Other targets include the A1/A19 north of Newcastle, Yorkshire’s A1 Doncaster to Darrington and the links between the M4 and the Dorset Coast.

Meanwhile, £2.5bn has been set aside for repairing potholes. This is enough to fill 50 million potholes by the end of the current parliament and represents an investment of £50 million every year.  

Transforming Cities Fund

In line with its promise to ‘get Britain building’, the Government is adding £1 billion to the Transforming Cities Fund. This will finance new infrastructure such as a Central Park Bridge in Plymouth.

£4.2bn is to be invested in five-year, integrated transport settlements for eight city regions (West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Liverpool City Region, Tyne and Wear, West of England, Sheffield City Region and Tees Valley), while a further £1bn will fund shovel-ready transport schemes.

£300 million pounds will go towards tackling nitrous oxide emissions in towns and cities. These investments form part of a £600bn investment in UK infrastructure.

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Technomad 11 March 2020

That's a nice little bonus

That's a nice little bonus for me - it always seemed odd that I got the £3500 grant on the one hand, and then hand £1500 back with the other. Subsidies need to taper off, but only at the point where EVs are the default choice - and we're not there yet.

scotty5 11 March 2020

And I would walk 300 tenths of a mile.

So not only is taxpayer continuing to subsidise expensive EV's, but now we're also going to fund the VED for those EV's over £40k. So the poor not only for the richer to buy their EV but also run it as well.

They say that thru time the price of EV's will reduce but why should they when the taxpayer funds them even more now?

Crazy.

Also head chancellor say that infrastucture to be funded so nobody will be more than 30 miles away from an EV point.  30 miles! What was that Proclaimers song again, And I would walk 300 tenths of a mile?

xxxx 11 March 2020

Who should pay for polution health problems

Scotty, think of the EV subsidy as cash promotion with the purpose to save your lungs from clogging up.  BEV's can also be seen as a method to keep the NHS bill down by way of cutting the numbers of patients suffering from breathing difficulties.

289 11 March 2020

@ xxxx

....thats just BS xxxx.

The numbers of EV's are too tiny to make a difference, and will remain so for the next couple of years.

Black Dog 11 March 2020

Oh Dear....

Oh that's alright then...let's do nothing because the pay-off isn't immediate.

scotty5 12 March 2020

Robbing the poor and giving to the rich.

xxxx wrote:

Scotty, think of the EV subsidy as cash promotion with the purpose to save your lungs from clogging up.  BEV's can also be seen as a method to keep the NHS bill down by way of cutting the numbers of patients suffering from breathing difficulties.

I'd suggest most of those who're going to benefit will probably have private health insurance. Us plebs will probably be subsidising that next.

By the way I swim five times a week and at the moment run 30miles a week ( that's  go up to 60 when the race season starts ). I'm already one of the NHS's best customers, it's the gross overweight, the drinkers, the smokers etc I'm more worried about if cutting the NHS bill is a priority as well as those patients sufferng less from breathing difficulties. An EV isn't the solution.

xxxx 12 March 2020

You prefer fumes then

scotty5 wrote:

xxxx wrote:

Scotty, think of the EV subsidy as cash promotion with the purpose to save your lungs from clogging up.  BEV's can also be seen as a method to keep the NHS bill down by way of cutting the numbers of patients suffering from breathing difficulties.

I'd suggest most of those who're going to benefit will probably have private health insurance. Us plebs will probably be subsidising that next.

By the way I swim five times a week and at the moment run 30miles a week ( that's  go up to 60 when the race season starts ). I'm already one of the NHS's best customers, it's the gross overweight, the drinkers, the smokers etc I'm more worried about if cutting the NHS bill is a priority as well as those patients sufferng less from breathing difficulties. An EV isn't the solution.

So plebs like us who save money by not buying electric benefit from wealthier poeple buying EV's.  I don't think they budgeted for you swimming 5 times a week, goverment for the masses doesn't work like that. 

EV's might not be the sole solution but would you rather breath in Diesel fumes for the next 20 years? What's your solution? 

289 11 March 2020

@ scotty5

my thoughts exactly!

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