MOTORISTS may have to spend more money to drive on the UK with plans for a new network of toll roads.
Downing St is considering launch proposals ‘very seriously’ Charge drivers for each kilometer travelled as part of a radical tax shake.
But today a minister downplayed the prospect of an immediate change, saying it could take a decade for the new system to be in place.
Small Business Secretary Paul Scully said he was “not keen” on the idea, which could “stall” car traffic in rural communities.
He told Times Radio: “I think it really needs to be worked through. It’s not something I’m going to be keen on right now.
“If you look at electric cars in 10 years and your duty falls by the wayside, the Treasury has to find something to replace that.
“But I suspect there will be a lot of discussion before we get even close.”
A No. 10 source also said “no work is being done on specific options at this time” to change the road tax, The Times reported.
But bean counters are increasingly concerned about the number of Britons buying electric cars will leave a huge black hole in public finances.
Rishi Sunak is also expected to cut fuel taxes by up to 10p in tomorrow’s spring declaration to help families in need.
Road taxes currently account for a whopping four percent of all revenue collected by the state treasury.
Only a fifth of that £35 billion a year is spent on maintaining Britain’s motorways, with the rest going to other public services.
Boris Johnson has announced plans to do so Ban on the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars from 2030.
There is no vehicle excise tax on electric cars, meaning road taxes are currently expected to drop to zero by 2040.
Downing St insiders say officials are now much more vigilant about introducing road user charges.
A source, The Times: “It’s definitely being taken very seriously at Downing Street.
“The Policy Unit is looking into this very carefully and the problems with the fuel tax now make it more urgent.”
The M6 Toll is currently the only paid motorway in the UK. It costs £7.10 for cars and £12.90 for trucks.
That means regular drivers pay around £3.80 per mile to use the 27-mile route around Birmingham.
£35bn ‘BLACK HOLE’
It is expected that any road pricing scheme would apply to motorways first, although eventually it could cover all journeys.
Tory MP Hugh Merriman, chairman of the Commons Transport Committee, said ministers must ensure ordinary Brits pay less under the scheme.
He said: “It may take a bigger big bang moment to deliver if fuel prices really go down and people are then being billed per mile they use.
“They can then set different prices during congestion than at other times, which can make it easier to reduce air pollution from congestion.
“And it can show people different prices, so they might prefer to use public transport rather than the price they are being offered.
“The most important thing is that drivers need to be sure that they are not paying more overall than they are now.
“We argue that they should pay less, that’s the only way it can really sell.”
A survey for the Social Market Foundation think tank last year found that almost four in ten Brits now support road pricing.
The poll found that only a quarter oppose the change amid widespread dissatisfaction with the current “unfair” system.
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8541716/motorists-britain-toll-roads-fuel-duty/ Motorists will have to spend more to drive in Britain amid a ‘new network of toll roads’.