A study by the Independent Transport Commission (ITC), made up of business, transport and motoring academics, suggests that if the Government did not cut fuel taxes, the average British household would see its weekly motoring bill rise by £4. In Greater London, that cost could be as much as £20 per week, but those without a car could see better bus services and less traffic at no extra cost.
However, if the Government did cut fuel taxes, drivers in the suburbs and inner cities, and on busy main roads, would see more dependable road travel and better fuel economy. Rural areas would see the cost of motoring fall and traffic levels increase.
The research showed that drivers seeking to cut the cost of road pricing would first try and change the time of their journeys to the cheaper hours, or share rides with family, friends or colleagues. Few car commuters would switch to bus or train travel.
Sir Patrick Brown, chairman of the ITC said: ‘This research shows today’s fuel tax to be incredibly inefficient.
‘It does the job of managing the roads badly. Without raising any additional revenue from drivers, we could have a more efficient Britain and more comfortable driving.
‘The key issues are who decides on the level of the charges and what happens to the money.’
Last month, a survey by the RAC Foundation found that support for road pricing was waning, because motorists did not trust the Government to run such a scheme fairly.