Government policy is for the sale of all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2030. An increasing number of vehicles exempt from Fuel Duty and a continuation of the Fuel Duty escalator freeze will mean that Fuel Duty will likely raise significantly less than it does at present by the end of the next decade.
Due to these changes, the taxation of roads will need to be future-proofed.
ICE has explored this issue, producing a policy paper in 2019 that examined the practical, technological, social, political and regulatory challenges of establishing a ‘pay as you go’ (PAYG) model for the Strategic Road Network.
YouGov polling on behalf of ICE in September 2018 found that 47% of British adults would support a PAYG model if it replaced both VED and Fuel Duty, with just 23% opposed.
The same polling found that nearly 50% of British adults would support the introduction of PAYG if it meant more money would be spent improving and maintaining local roads.
However, updated polling from January 2021 shows that public support has decreased; 40% of GB adults would support a PAYG model if it replaced both VED and Fuel Duty, with 28% opposed. However, this means that support still outweighs opposition.
These results show that there is some public support for a PAYG system that is coupled to clear and tangible benefits, particularly on improved maintenance and condition of roads, and if there was no overall increase in the tax burden.
It is clear that, whatever the policy option pursued, there is a pressing need to bring the public along on the journey to a net zero transport system and clearly explain the rationale, benefits and indeed disbenefits where applicable.
ICE submission to the Transport Committee inquiry on zero emission vehicles and road pricing
Content type: Policy
Last updated: 17/01/2023