Motorists could get 5,000 free driving miles under new plans
The government is considering a new road pricing system that could give motorists up to 5,000 free driving miles. The proposal is to plug the projected £30billion hole in Treasury finances due to fuel loss as more and more electric vehicles hit the road.
Low users would pay nothing and the money would be made up for by those who travel the most paying 16p a mile once their free allowance runs out. A report by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) think tank estimates that the poorest 20% of car owners who drive the least are likely to earn £40 a year under the scheme.
And it recommends road pricing be introduced now to tackle the cost of living crisis, reports the Daily Mirror. Report author Scott Orfe said: “The fuel tax hits low-income people the hardest.
“Road pricing would take some of that burden off those who are least able to afford it.” Former Transport Secretary Lord George Young added: “The switch to electric vehicles raises a question about the future of fuel tax.
“Successive administrations have looked at road pricing and then done nothing because they believe the public will not accept the change.” SMF polls show that 38% of voters now support road pricing while 26% oppose it.
And the SMF estimates the change would mean 630 million fewer miles traveled on UK roads a year, helping the environment. But congestion charging should still be used to unblock cities.