Fleet News

Mixed reception for road tolls report

THE Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has welcomed the Government's consultation on road fund-raising, but warned that any scheme should not become a further tax on the company car driver.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan, a member of the steering group for the study, said: 'Road charging may well have a role in managing demand on the UK's congested road network but it must not lead to an increase in tax take from the motorist.

'The objective for the motor industry and Government alike must be a modern and efficient transport system that supports vehicle production, aids economic growth and respects the environment. This requires sustained levels of new Government investment in the short and medium term based on targets that are clearly set and reviewed regularly.'

The SMMT believes the Government faces a 'significant challenge' to win the trust of motorists, and will only succeed if it can deliver improvements throughout the entire transport network, on road and rail.

The SMMT also called for clarity in road charging systems. It said: 'The introduction of local congestion charging schemes, described as pathfinders, also needs to be treated with care. Timing and costs should be co-ordinated if motorists are to accept the long-term benefits of road charging and not be confused by a host of systems operating at different times and with different cost structures across the country.'

The study suggested nationwide road charging could be a decade away.

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