Chancellor George Osborne announced an additional £200 million fund for pothole repairs while confirming the fuel duty freeze in his 2014 Budget statement.
The planned September 2014 fuel duty rise had already been scrapped in the Autumn Statement in 2013 and the Chancellor confirmed duty would be frozen until Spring 2015, again, in the 2014 Budget.
The news comes as a welcome relief to motorists, who saw petrol prices soar to as much as 138.32ppl in February 2013. Osborne said in the 2014 Budget that the latest freeze meant motorists would be paying 20p less than under the previous Government.
The Chancellor’s biggest announcement during the Budget statement was a new 12-sided £1 coin. While not directly affecting drivers, it will mean all parking meters and machines will have to be replaced in car parks.
This accounts for around 100,000 machines in the UK and replacing all these will cost at least £50m to local authorities and private parking firms, according to the British Parking Association.
The figure could rise if meters and machines are upgraded at the same time to include all the new payment methods – such as chip and pin. While a major investment is needed, the new coin is expected to save parking operators £40 million a year as an estimated four per cent of £1 coins used currently in machines are counterfeit. The Royal Mint says the new coin will be the safest in the world.
The £200m pothole repair fund means councils are able to bid for money to repair roads ravaged by the winter floods. The current estimate for repairs is £400 million, on top of the £10.5 billion repair backlog that already exists.
Other motoring announcements came in the form of an extension on the discount for ultra low-emission vehicles and a two per cent tax on company cars with higher CO2 emissions. The M4 in Wales also received funding along with £270m for the Mersey Gateway bridge.
A rolling 40 year Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) exemption was also introduced for classic vehicles following last year's 1974 exemption. VED rates for cars, motorcycles and the main rates for vans will increase by inflation from April 2014.
This year's rates:
|CO2 Emissions||Annual rate||First year rate|
|Up to 100g/km||£0||£0|
What do you think of the Budget 2014? What do you think he should have announced for motorists? Let us know in the comments below, or check out the 2014 Budget on our sister site Carbuyer.