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IAM reacts to cuts in road spendingBack

The Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM) has reacted this week to the announcement that cuts will be made to the amount of motor tax which is spent on roads in the UK.

It is feared that cuts in government spending on Britain’s roads will lead to further problems with potholes, and make the roads even more treacherous for motorists this winter.

IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: “Using so little of the taxes motorists pay on road upkeep is plainly unfair. Motorists are also paying the price as Britain’s potholed and increasingly dangerous roads take their toll, damaging tyres, wheels, steering and suspension.

The IAM went on to comment that spending more on the road infrastructure now will actually save money in the long term, as people will avoid claiming on their insurance policies for accidents caused by potholes and poor road infrastructures.

Official figures have recently revealed that the Government takes more than three times more on motoring taxes than is actually spent on the roads. Fuel taxes made up a massive £27 billion for the treasury in 2010 along with £5 billion which came from vehicle excise duty (VED).

In contrast, figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) showed that in 2010/11 only £5.7 billion was actually spent on local roads with an additional spend of only £3.75 billion recorded on national roads.

The Dft has described how VED almost doubled between 1987 and 2010 and that motoring running costs, to include purchase, petrol, oil, tax and insurance, have stayed in line with the retail prices index (RPI).

However, when the purchase of a vehicle was removed, the remaining motoring costs actually rose faster than the RPI whilst there has been less VED evasion recorded, with only 0.7 per cent of traffic on UK roads being driven without a licence in 2011, saving the government approximately £6 billion.

AA president Edmund King said: “Fuel duty alone contributes more than 5% of the public finances tax-take, including council tax. Like councils that have come to rely on parking income and fines from parking and moving traffic offences to prop up town hall coffers, the Treasury is beginning to find out how high fuel prices and tax have started to kill off the goose that lays the golden egg.

“These latest Government figures show it is business as usual for UK drivers who contribute more than three times what they receive in service. This has been the way for a generation and leads to inadequate infrastructure and frustrated road users.”

Posted by Leana Kell on 02/01/2012