UK road pricing: UK plan to plug the fuel duty gap

The Government’s plan to plug the £30bn gap in lost fuel duty is taking shape with bans on petrol and diesel car and trucks looming

Motorway

UK road pricing looks to be moving closer to reality. Following the announcement that sales of new diesel-powered trucks will be banned from 2040 hot on the heels of 2030’s ban on the sale of petrol and diesel powered cars, and with new plug-in hybrid models also set to be banned from 2035, there are big changes coming to UK roads. Crucially, a plan is needed to plug the expected £30bn shortfall caused by lost fuel duty and road tax revenues as the UK moves into the electrified future. 

Auto Express submitted a freedom of information request to the Treasury back in November 2018, asking if it was considering nationwide road pricing to make up for projected lost fuel duty revenue. The Government admitted that “HM Treasury does hold information within the scope of your request”, but refused to provide details as the Freedom of Information Act allowed such withholding of information if it related to the “formulation of government policy”. 

Specifics on how nationwide road pricing would work have yet to emerge, but it is generally considered that a pay-per-mile system, potentially linked to GPS modules in cars, or the UK’s extensive ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) camera system, would be brought into play. Potentially higher charges for more polluting cars could also be introduced.

The Government has announced that it will ban sales of smaller diesel-powered trucks from 2035, while trucks weighing more than 26 tonnes will be outlawed by 2040. Last year, Volvo and Daimler were among six truck makers who pledged to end sales of diesel models by 2040.

The Government is also understood to be readying a consultation into a California-style ‘ZEV mandate’. Similar schemes currently operational in several American states, two Canadian provinces, and China, compel car manufacturers to sell an increasing number of zero-emissions vehicles as a percentage of their overall sales, or purchase credits from other manufacturers.

According to a Policy Exchange report released last year, the ZEV mandate could ultimately serve as a replacement for the government’s plug-in car grant, and would be cost-neutral for the Treasury. Funds currently earmarked for the PiCG could be redirected to increase the rollout of a nationwide charging infrastructure. Contributing a foreword to the report, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the author’s mandate proposals would be studied: “closely as we consider how to make the date a reality”.

What’s your view on the road charging debate? Let us know in the comments section below...

Recommended

Transport secretary Grant Shapps confirms digital driving licences are on the way
Digital driving licence
Consumer news

Transport secretary Grant Shapps confirms digital driving licences are on the way

DVLA plans to offer a digital provisional driving licence by 2024, with full digital licences to follow at a later date
17 Sep 2021
Electric car charge points to be installed in every new home in the UK
Home charging point
News

Electric car charge points to be installed in every new home in the UK

England will be the first country in the world to introduce mandatory electric car charging points for new-build homes
10 Sep 2021
Government asks for more Smart Motorway safety data with revised Highway Code on the way
smart motorway
News

Government asks for more Smart Motorway safety data with revised Highway Code on the way

A revised version of the Highway Code will cover Smart Motorway driving, as National Highways pledges to improve data and monitoring
8 Sep 2021
E10 petrol explained: UK prices, checker tool and is it OK for your car?
Petrol pump
News

E10 petrol explained: UK prices, checker tool and is it OK for your car?

E10 petrol is up to 10 per cent ethanol and is available at UK fuel stations now as part of the bid to cut CO2 emissions
1 Sep 2021

Most Popular

Exclusive: banned 71-reg number plates released
Number plates
News

Exclusive: banned 71-reg number plates released

Latest DVLA list of banned UK registrations reveals which 71-plates are too rude for the road
21 Sep 2021
Volvo to ditch leather in all cars by 2030
Volvo interior
Volvo

Volvo to ditch leather in all cars by 2030

New C40 Recharge will be first Volvo to be offered without the option of leather upholstery
23 Sep 2021
New MG HS plug-in hybrid 2021 review
MG HS PHEV - front
MG HS SUV

New MG HS plug-in hybrid 2021 review

We find out where the new MG HS PHEV fits in the highly competitive plug-in hybrid SUV sector
21 Sep 2021