‘Philip Hammond’s £1.3bn road fund buys us next to nothing’

‘Philip Hammond’s £1.3bn road fund buys us next to nothing’

0 comments 📅07 December 2016, 12:15

The Chancellor's 2016 Autumn Proclamation promised little for motorists, but delivered unchanging less, says Mike Rutherford

The Chancellor wasn’t irresistible car users with much on the eve of his 2016 Autumn Report in the Commons. And he delivered even less. But a agreement is a promise, right? On the Sunday before his Wednesday articulation, some in the media were advised Philip Hammond had “£1.3billion to be targeted at improving British roads”.

On that Sunday, in a TV evaluation, I argued a spend of £1.3bn buys next to nowt when distributed across a highway network privileged or connecting 48,000 British villages, towns and cities. 

Furthermore, I stated Hammond’s £1.3bn represents what drivers pay to him in carrier/fuel/road/parking/insurance taxes and duties every week or so. 

So far so bad. But it gets worse, because when the Chancellor delivered his expression in Parliament, he effectively amended it and committed to “£1.1billion of investment in English townsman transport networks; £220million to address freight pinch points on strategic roads”.

• “Congestion could sell for us £307bn – how about a ruralisation programme?”

This, it seems, is the circa £1.3bn he gave advanced augury of. But it now looks like only a fraction is guaranteed for the roads. Hammond’s communistic the door open for most of it to be blown on “transport networks” – which I harbour will turn out to be rail/bus/tram/tube routes, cycle lanes and the like. But reasonable as drivers and motorcyclists pay for the road space they use, shouldn’t societal transport travellers and cyclists be picking up the tab for their own tracks, lanes and paths?   

Realistic, Phil reckons he’s got £390m to “build on our competitive advantage in low emission vehicles and the situation of connected autonomous vehicles”, as well as providing much needed assistance for EV recharging infrastructure, which is shambolic.

• “Isn’t it era our road network was a priority too?”

But he pushed his serendipity when mischievously telling motorists they’re more to enjoy a “tax cut” worth £850m, based on his purpo NOT to raise fuel duties. That’s misleading. A earnest cut would be a reduction in the duty levels we currently pay – and that ain’t chance.

The final kick in the bollards? Take the biggest rip-off in present-day motoring – car insurance – and make it even more valuable by hiking the tax by 20 per cent. This when one pleases force some older drivers off the method, while at the same time preventing myriad youngsters from getting on it – in cars that would exalt their social lives, independence and job prospects.

What did you imagine of this year’s Autumn Statement? Desert us a comment below…


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