To benefit social well-being and the national economy, the monies from cutting fuel duty should be spent on repairing the road network.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is considering a two pence cut in the current 57.9p fuel duty. The proposal is the latest sign that the Government is gearing up for a Brexit Election later this year and follows voter-friendly announcements on schools and the NHS.
It is estimated that the cut would cost the Treasury £1.5 billion. This argues the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) should be spend on investing in the repair and maintenance of the deteriorating local road network.
“There are 35 million drivers in the UK. Most are voters who are fed-up with potholes and the damage that they do to their vehicles,” said Mike Harper, RSTA Chief Executive. Decades of under investment by successive governments has resulted in a deteriorating local road network riddled with potholes. The bill to restore the road network to a decent standard is £9.79 billion. Investing the £1.5 billion from the cut in fuel duty in road maintenance could make a significant difference.”
RSTA has long called for the investment of an additional 2p per litre taken from the existing fuel duty to fix the plague of potholes. In addition, RSTA believes that there should be a ring-fenced 5 year funding settlement for local roads, as is the case for the strategic road network, so that highway managers can make long term decisions about how to best manage their pavement assets with planned programme of road maintenance rather than reactive patch-and-mend pothole repair.
“Boris Johnson wishes to be remembered as the prime minister who sorts out Brexit. He should also consider being the prime minister who fixed our roads by directing the fuel duty to where it really should go: back into the road network,” said Harper.