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Budget 2018: VED to be ring-fenced for roads funding

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer is expected to announce an additional £420 million to tackle the growing pothole problem in this afternoon’s Budget and ringfence VED for roads funding.

The £420m for potholes is on top of an existing fund of almost £300m.

The funding announcement from Philip Hammond will come alongside additional cash to upgrade England's motorways.

Hammond is expected to earmark £25.5 billion for Highways England for major road upgrades between 2020 and 2025 - largely funded by vehicle excise duty (VED).

It will be the first time the tax has been ring-fenced for use on the roads.

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “The Government made a commitment three years ago to ring-fencing all the money collected from vehicle tax from 2020/21 to maintain and improve our most important roads. It is good to see the Chancellor delivering on this promise and it is clearly a big step in the right direction.

“While the focus of this cash injection is strategic and major roads it is also positive that other local roads will benefit to some extent. But what is also needed going forward is a similar long-term strategy and funding for the maintenance and improvement of all local roads so that we can over perhaps 10 years eliminate the backlog in preventative maintenance that has led to so many potholes appearing during periods of adverse weather.

“Local roads are vitally important as almost all journeys start and finish on them and they, in turn, provide links to and from motorways, dual carriageway and major A-roads – keeping the country and our economy moving.”

Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Jenny Randerson has urged the Government to invest in "rail, low emission buses and electric charging points". 

She said: "While it is welcome news that the Government will finally set aside much needed investment for our roads, their infrastructure plan lacks any future proofing.

"With climate change an ever greater threat, Liberal Democrats demand better. Ministers should be focusing on a model shift away from car use to public transport. That means investment in rail, low emission buses and electric charging points."

Fleet News will be following the Budget from 3.30pm this afternoon, with major announcements covered on Twitter and a round-up of fleet-related Budget news appearing on here soon after.  


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