Lorries pay for almost all road maintenance

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Heavy goods vehicles alone pay enough tax  to cover almost the whole of UK spending on road maintenance, research by the Freight Transport Association has revealed ahead of the budget on 22nd November. The report, prepared for FTA by RepGraph, shows that lorries pay three times more in tax than the estimated cost of damage they do to the road infrastructure – and in fact they pay 94 per cent of the UK’s total spending on road maintenance.

Between 2015 and 2016, central and devolved governments and local authorities spent some £4.7 billion on road maintenance. HGV taxes (vehicle excise duty, road user levy and fuel duty) raised in the same period £4.4 billion.

The cost estimate for infrastructure damage imposed by HGVs totalled only £1.5bn.

The total tax take from motor vehicles was £33.5 billion – more than seven times as high as the road maintenance budget.

Head of national and regional policy Christopher Snelling said: “The fact that HGV taxes alone almost pay for the whole of UK road maintenance also shows that Britain still does not support the quality of the roads well enough.

“Whether it is potholes, road closures or long running road works, we all suffer when the roads do not work as they should. Congestion is bad for the environment as well as the economy. The UK Government should provide for more spending by Highways England and our local authorities to ensure the roads are fit for purpose.”

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