Campaign for Better Transport say that 60% of the British public agree that there is a need to reform the current system of vehicle taxation with significantly more people agreeing that a pay-as-you-drive system would be a good way ahead than those who oppose it.
The report recognises that the system of taxation relating to motor vehicles will need to change as an increasing number of electric vehicles replace ICE vehicles on UK roads.
The study found that after various arguments for and against road pricing were discussed, half of survey respondents (49%) supported the idea of replacing the current system of vehicle taxation with pay-as-you-drive, while only 18 per cent thought this was a bad idea.
The report says that as the Treasury has stated that taxation raised from motorists needs to be maintained to continue funding public services, the options for reform need to be examined now so that any changes can be implemented in the next few years.
Distance-based road pricing, or pay-as-you-drive, is the option supported by both the independent Climate Change Committee and the cross-party House of Commons Transport Committee. As well as ensuring the tax system keeps pace with the transition to net zero, it presents a number of further benefits, such as addressing issues with the current system of fuel duty and VED and helping to reduce congestion and pollution, while protecting people’s right to drive where there is little choice.
The report notes that past proposals for different forms of road pricing have met some hostility, making policy-makers reluctant to act, but it is many years since the public mood on this has been tested.
The report presents its findings based on four focus groups and a detailed 60-question survey of over 3,000 adults from across the UK. It explores the best ways “to frame the case for reform and to implement a new system with fairness at its heart”.