Campaign group urges pay-per-mile charging for car use

THERE is a potentially growing appetite – according to research just published – for car use to be charged on a pay-per-mile basis.

Says the advocacy group, Campaign for Better Transport (which serves mainly England and Wales), a focus group exercise saw a change of heart about pay-per-mile charging, from 41 per cent to 49 per cent in favour, with 60 per cent of respondents urging reform of the current system of vehicle taxation (a combination of Vehicle Excise Duty (Road Tax) and fuel duty).

A report (here) produced by the campaign notes that approximately £28bn is raised annually from fuel duty and £7bn from Road Tax.

The report, however, also recognises that there are some population groups (such as older people) that are more reliant on cars than others.

The report also considers electric vehicles, carbon emissions and pubic transport.

Says a media release issued by the CBT, here: “Pay-as-you-drive is not a new idea. It was first suggested way back in the mists of time in 1964.”

Among the recommendations of the report are:

  • The need to keep up with the transition to zero-emission vehicles as the main rationale;
  • A focus on pay-as-you-drive, ‘drive less – pay less’ and helping to tackle the cost-of-living crisis;
  • Commitment to raise no more than fuel duty and Vehicle Excise Duty do now;
  • Ring-fencing a proportion of the revenue for road maintenance and improved public transport;
  • A tax-free mileage allowance based on postcode, with rural drivers receiving more;
  • Suitable mitigations for disabled drivers, sole traders and businesses; and
  • An arm’s-length body to set and review emission standards and charging rates, annually.

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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