Think-tank suggests radical overhaul of how roads are run
13 April 2010

Car tax should be scrapped, and 10p a mile tolls introduced on all motorways and major A-roads, according to an influential think-tank.

The Social Market Foundation (SMF) also proposes that all roads should be owned by UK citizens rather than the government.

Each UK national would get shares in the road network, and then take a proportion of the income from road charging. SMF estimates at current road useage rates this would bring in an income of £1500 per person per year.

The think-tank says the 'average motorist' would be better off by £75 a year under the scheme, once their share dividend had been paid and the road tax charges dropped.

"We don't see this as far-fetched stuff," said the report's co-author, David Furness. "We think it's much better for people to own the major roads than for the money to go to the Treasury."

Ian Mulheirn, co-author of the report, added: "Instead, we must make better use of our existing infrastructure by pricing the roads so that drivers have an incentive to use them during less crowded periods.

"But road charging shouldn't benefit government or big business. Instead, every citizen should be made a shareholder of the roads so that they benefit from any profits from road charging."

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13 April 2010

Scrapping the car tax is stupid. they should keep the car tax because i own a ford fiesta econetic that only emmits 98g/km of CO2 emmisions. That means i pay nothing. I have therefore brought an economical car for no reason at all .

13 April 2010

[quote VieT Bwoii]I have therefore brought an economical car for no reason at all .

Didnt you buy an economical car to save fuel costs? The £20 a year you save by not being in the next band, or the £35 you save by not being in the next again is nothing compared to costs in buying a new car.

13 April 2010

Not a bad idea, but taking the income off the government and giving it to the public at the tune of £1500 per person on current useage rates will mean the government will have another opportunity for stealth tax so the road user will not see the benefit in the long run.

Governments have long been going down a cul-de-sac with road tax and cleaner cars etc. when the majority are running cleaner cars like the poster above where does the tax come from later down the line? surely it needs policy change, what is inherently wrong with scrapping car tax and putting it on the price of fuel?, everyone pays, no dodging and the policy change comes in with the proviso that whichever government is in power must utilise the money gained from this tax on the road network and development and subsidy of public transport systems.

13 April 2010

Scrap car tax, introduce higher tax on fuel, the more you drive the more you pay.


13 April 2010

Add to that a system whereby every non UK car has to buy a (Switzerland style) years permit when they enter the country.

13 April 2010

'Road tax' was abolished in 1937. The SMF report is all over the shop: calling it road tax in one para and then VED in another.

As the SMF ought to know it's a tax on ownership of cars, not use of the road.

The end of 'road tax' (1909-1937) was started by Winston Churchill in 1926. The oddly fascinating history of 'road tax' - and why it's a loaded term - can be found at

The arguments around road pricing and 'road tax' have been exercised since the very early days of the car. Motoring organisations have ALWAYS been opposed to any tax on car ownership. All have long argued for all the duties to be placed on use, instead i.e. a higher petrol tax, and no VED.

A history of this can be found in William Plowden's 'The Motorcar and Politics, 1896-1970'. The Government arguments for VED are very similar now to the arguments used from 1910 onwards.

13 April 2010

Am I reading this wrong (or rubbish at maths)? I must be. If I keep my £175 p/a road tax and pay 10p a mile that's only 1750 miles? So once I've commuted to and from work for 50 days, that'll be all £175 'road fund licence' that I've saved used up.

13 April 2010

[quote rosstopher]Scrap car tax, introduce higher tax on fuel, the more you drive the more you pay.[/quote] We already pay enough tax on fuel, why increase it?

Dear Autocar website designers,

I understand your need to bring revenue in with advertising. However, can you do it in a way that makes your site usable please?


13 April 2010

[quote superstevie][quote rosstopher]Scrap car tax, introduce higher tax on fuel, the more you drive the more you pay.[/quote] We already pay enough tax on fuel, why increase it?[/quote]

Because we have a class of motorists living in the UK who don't pay the road fund licence and we have 40 ton European lorries using our roads without paying the duty on fuel or paying road fund but damaging our roads like the rest of us. Putting the duty on fuel then making sure this is put back into the road network will mean all who drive pay.

13 April 2010

If revenue has to be raised on the poor motorist once again then just having one tax on fuel makes sense. It costs nothing to administer cant go wrong does not delay traffic at toll booths and the more you drive the more you pay.

However an altenative view would be not to clobber the motorist again and actually cut budgets by about 25% across the board as I am yet to be convinced public services are increasing in quality and efficiency as exponentially as mororing costs . Oh but that would mean binning think tanks quangos elf n safety n pc committees and politicians then.

Not such a bad idea after all !!!!!!!

It will never happen as there are too many jobs for boys n girls in focus groups think tanks n quangos n researchers telling us the bleedin obvious for fat fees.

Cynical yup but guess why I aint in the UK at the moment

Ok I will stick to cars rather than politics in future but the rate things are going all cars will be soon fitted with a trap door in the floor so we can get about Fred flintstone style as we wont be able to afford anything else.


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