Jambuster plan to abolish road tax and petrol duty

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The Independent Online
A radical "jambuster" plan to scrap car and fuel taxes and make motorists pay an average pounds 600 a year in road charges instead was outlined yesterday. Drivers would pay an average of 11.7p per mile in charges which would raise about pounds 30bn to improve roads and public transport, said a research paper from the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

At this rate, it would cost an average car-owner with an annual total of 10,000 miles about pounds 1,200 each year. But pounds 600 of this would be offset by the abolition of the road fund licence and the duty element in the price of petrol, and roads could become virtually jam-free.

The report's author, Professor Douglas McWilliams, said roads had to be treated like any other public utility, with increased private-sector provision and charging for usage. He suggested investing part of the receipts from charging in improving the road system to increase its efficiency and environmental acceptability. Other cash from the funds raised could be used to improve public transport.

The Government is at present testing motorway tolling equipment, which is to undergo trials on the M3 in Hampshire, but there has still been no firm decision on whether tolls will be introduced.