RECORD LEVELS OF TRAFFIC ARE TRAVELLING ON A POORLY FUNDED ROAD NETWORK

New Department for Transport statistics that show traffic levels are higher than ever demand action from the Government and questions from motorists believes the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA). “The Government must act to properly address the £12 billion local road repair backlog if the country is not to grind to a potholed stop. Motorists must ask why the increased motoring and fuel tax revenues from traffic is not being spent on maintaining the road network”, said Howard Robinson, RSTA Chief Executive.

According to Road Traffic Estimates: Great Britain 2015, the number of vehicle miles travelled grew by 1.1 per cent in 2015 to 247 billion. This is higher than the previous peak in 2007. Motorway use has increased by 2.6 per cent more than in 2014, the use of rural ‘A’ roads increased by 2.4 per cent and traffic using rural roads grew by 2 per cent. “The parlous state of our potholed crumbling road network is a result of decades of under-investment. The increasing traffic levels will add to the pressure on a road network that is, quite frankly, barely able to cope”, said Robinson.

HMRC figures show that the Government collected £26.7 billion from the 46.2 billion litres of fuel sold in 2015. In addition, VAT on fuel raised £6.3 billion, Vehicle Excise Duty raised £5.9 billion and motorist Insurance Premium Tax a further £624,000 million. In total motoring taxes accounted for over £39.524 billion last year. “Against this, the Government is committed to just £6 billion to fund local road maintenance between 2015 and 2021. Over the same six year period, at current taxation levels, the Government will rake in £237.144 billion. Motorists need to ask where the money is going. It certainly is not going on local road maintenance”, said Robinson.

He continued: “The condition of our road network, in particular the local road network, continues to be a major concern. The Government’s own statistics underline the pressure that they are facing. They also show the amount of taxation that motorists pay and how little of that is actually invested back into the roads that they drive on.”