Road spend falls short

Road spend falls short
24 Oct, 2012 11:00am Jon Morgan

We reveal the scale of underinvestment in roads, as £33bn revenue is gained but only £9bn spent

Auto Express can reveal just how small a proportion of drivers’ motoring taxes is ploughed back into the roads after getting hold of Department for Transport (DfT) spending figures – and how unevenly across the country the money is invested.

Motorists paid £33.038bn in fuel duty and Vehicle Excise Duty in 2009/10 – that’s £530.95 per head if divided between the population of the UK, or a massive £935.92 per UK driving licence holder. But as our map shows, in the same period, the DfT spent only £156.96 per head on roads in some regions of England.

Roads in London received £1.8bn in 2009/10 – the most recent year for which figures are available – and that equates to a road spend of £235.71 per head. It’s far more than in any other region, but still well under half what each person would have paid in motoring taxes.

The East of England’s £1.17bn of investment gives it the second highest per head spend, at £201.90. And the North East enjoyed the third highest, with a figure of £190.48 per head – although this was divided up from a shamefully small road investment of £493.5m.

By contrast, £1.33bn was spent on roads in the South East, but the region’s large population means this equated to just £156.96 per head. In total, the DfT spent just £9.4bn on roads in England.

TaxPayers’ Alliance boss Matthew Sinclair said: “Too often, drivers are targeted as cash cows, paying far more in taxes than is needed to cover the cost of road building and the environmental impact.

“Politicians should stop ripping off Brits with the highest taxes on petrol in the EU.”

Disqus - noscript

Why oh why oh why does the media reinforce the idea that money raised via VED and fuel duty should only be spent on roads???? Where would we stop? VAT on televisions to fund the BBC? Tax on my shoes to support the sock making industry? Its TAX, it goes into the one pot and apportioned appropriately. At least the state of our crappy roads is keeping garagea in business. I wonder what the tax you pay there should be ring-fenced for/

You're incorrect. Fuel duty and VAT are not the same thing, neither is road tax. This tax scam has been going on for a long time. Tax is collected to reinvest into the corresponding public service and/or infrastructure, it doesn't and should never go ino one pot. If you use a car, you pay for the roads. Wherever you live you pay the local council tax most of which goes strait to the local council. If fuel duty and road tax were cut then motorists wouldn't be paying trough their noses for effectively very little reinvestment.

This is a stupid way of showing investment in the roads. There are more people per square km in London, so more using the roads. How about road spend per person per mile?

I agree with the VED comment, that is just idiotic. The Auto Express is becoming more like the Daily Mail every day.

Very well said, Viking.

OK, to GB and others who follow this stupid view of ringfencing tax revenues, how do you pay for the NHS? A special tax on sick people? How do you pay for the Police and Judiciary? A special tax on victims of crime? How do you pay for the military?

If we reduce road taxes by the £24b that isn't spent on the roads but is spent elsewhere, how do we make up the shortfall? Increased income tax? Increased VAT? Increased airport duties? Increased excise duty on tobacco and booze?