Fleet News

Only crippling tax will cut traffic levels, says Lex Report

KEY Government policies for cutting traffic on Britain's roads through increased taxes and charging are deeply unpopular and would fail to have an effect unless raised to crippling levels. The 1999 Lex Report on Motoring found that while drivers expressed concern for the environment, they saw moves to increase the cost of motoring as 'just another tax' they would have to pay which would not push them off the roads.

'Motorists express concern for the environment, but beyond this superficial concern the relative unimportance of the environment is clearly demonstrated,' the report said. 'The environment is important, but it is not as important as jobs, health and personal safety. These are the key issues that people want addressed. Many motorists feel that enough is enough with respect to congestion. They feel that the Government is taking their motoring taxes and doing very little to improve their motoring lives.'

While increasing investment in the road network, varying vehicle excise duty on cars with different engine sizes and cutting down on out-of-town developments was supported, many other measures were opposed by motorists. Increasing fuel duty by 6% above inflation was the most unpopular, followed by charging for using motorways and trunk roads, making diesel more expensive than petrol, introducing workplace car parking charges and city centre charges.

Raising vehicle excise duty to £250 a year would make no difference to 63% of motorists, although 13% said they would use the car less and 16% would give up owning a car. Doubling the charge to £500 still left 41% saying there would be no effect, but 39% said they would give up owning a car.

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