Fleet News

UK has highest fuel tax and most crowded roads

BRITAIN’S motorway network is the most congested in Europe despite drivers paying the highest fuel taxes, a new report claims.

The traffic-jammed network makes it almost impossible for just-in-time deliveries or for company car drivers to get to meetings on time, it adds.

The findings are produced in Road File 05, a major independent report produced by the Road Users’ Alliance. It suggests that mile-for-mile Britain has more cars on its motorways than any other major European country.

Tim Green, director of the Road Users’ Alliance, said: ‘Lack of road capacity is damaging British business and stunting growth in the regions. Despite paying the highest fuel taxes in Europe, we have one of the worst road networks.

‘In the last decade these taxes have bought us a less than 1% increase in motorway capacity, which is struggling to support a massive 37% increase in motorway traffic. These are the vital routes that drive our economy and should promote productivity and prosperity across the country, yet these are the roads on which traffic regularly grinds to a halt.’

The report claims that in the last year, British motorists contributed £43.5 billion in taxes to the Treasury but that only £6.58 billion was reinvested in roads. At £2.9 billion, company car tax alone funded almost half of the country’s total road spend, it adds.

Other major findings in the Road File 05 report include:

  • Roads carry more than 93% of all passenger travel.
  • The UK motorway system ranks 15th in Europe measured by length compared to GDP, or head of population.
  • Roads occupy less than 1% of the land mass of Great Britain.
  • UK fuel taxes are the highest in Europe and account for nearly 70p of every pound spent at the pump.

    The report says that while the Government is keen to introduce road pricing, many regional firms are still awaiting the completion of road schemes to allow them reliable access to the rest of the country. Copies of the report are available online at www.rua.org.uk.

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