5th December 2014
Motoring was front and centre during the recent Budget announcements.
The Chancellor, George Osborne, confirmed that fuel duty will remain frozen and also outlined plans to improve the capacity of Englands roads. Currently motorists in the UK pay 50p per litre for petrol and diesel. Vehicles with a lower impact on carbon emissions are taxed at even lower duty rates and these include liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), compressed natural gas (CNG) and electricity.
Fuel duty freeze - appreciated by many, but has it gone far enough?
This freeze – anticipated to remain in place until August 31st2015 – will save the average motorist £11 every time they fill their tank, the government claims. There have been some groups however who believe the measures have not gone far enough.
Andrew Hogsden, senior manager with Strategic Fleet Consultancy at Lex Autolease, said: "British businesses are burdened with some of the highest fuel prices in Europe.
"Reducing fuel duty would provide them with an immediate cashflow boost as they look to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the recovering economy.
"Unfortunately the Government's decision not to reduce fuel duty means they remain saddled with this costly overhead."
The £15 billion road investment scheme, entitled 'Road Investment Strategy' focusses on more than 100 new road improvement schemes that will take place over the next few years and will include the addition of 1300 new lane miles. The aim is to address traffic black-spots such as the A303 at Stonehenge and the remaining single-lane sections of the A1.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said "this plan is the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching roads programme for decades. It will dramatically improve our road network and unlock Britains economic potential. Roads are key to our nation's prosperity. Far too long they have suffered from under-investment."
New initiatives include a commitment of £2bilion to dual the A303 and A358 to the south west, including the provision of a tunnel at Stonehenge. This is designed to allow motorists to drive on a dual carriageway from London to within 15 miles of Land's End.
Around £290 million will be allocated in order to complete the dualling of the A1 from the stretch of London from London to Ellingham, 25 miles from the Scottish border.
The stretch of road from Manchester to Leeds will be turned into a 'smart motorway', where the hard shoulder can be used as a lane of traffic.
Some of the 100 projects had already been in the pipeline and were the subject of previous announcements, although the government has claimed that 84 from the list are entirely new. The economy may be further boosted as over 6200 construction jobs could be created around the country during the road-build scheme.