The Transport Committee want to start a national debate about road pricing.
Talk on future tolls has been lacking for more than a decade since the then Labour Government’s road pricing plans were abandoned.
This is in advance of an inquiry to be formally announced in early 2020, when the Committee will invite views from across the country from drivers and non-drivers alike about the future of road-based transport.
In early 2020 the Transport Committee will investigate whether national road pricing should be a part of that future, but wants the public – drivers and non-drivers alike – to begin the discussion now.
Lessons from existing schemes
Issues to be considered will include pros and cons of road pricing including the economic, environmental, and social impacts. We will also look at the lessons that can be learnt from existing schemes at the national level, local level, and overseas. Road pricing does not only mean tolls – it also includes congestion charges, an HGV levy, workplace parking levy, low emission and clean air zones.
In response, the RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said, “There is no question that the existing fuel duty system is on borrowed time as we move towards electric and other zero emission forms of car travel. It’s therefore clear that business as usual isn’t an option moving forward.
“We know through research that drivers are open to a new form of motoring taxation but three-quarters of those we questioned are worried they may end up paying more tax than they do now. For this reason we believe any new tax should be in place of the current one and not in addition to it.
“Our research also suggests that a sizeable number of drivers would see a ‘per mile’ road pricing option as fairer than the current system of paying fuel duty, and there is a large level of support for the principle of the ‘more you drive, the more you pay’. In addition, drivers tell us that any ‘pay per mile’ system of road pricing would make them consider cutting out short journeys.”