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.”