industry news SME profile Friday 26 Jan 2018 @ 11:15 Dynamic road-user pricing could benefit pensioners and students

Dynamic road-user pricing could benefit pensioners and students

A major new report released today (24 January) suggests that the Government should introduce dynamic road user pricing which takes into account a driver’s journey (motorways or country lanes), the time of day, congestion on the network, and even their financial situation – i.e. whether they’re a student, pensioner, or unemployed.

Funding Roads for the Future, released by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) – the leading business association representing the interests of professional consultancies and engineering companies operating in the social and economic infrastructure sectors – suggests that the existing model based on raising funds through fuel duty, vehicle excise duty, and the HGV levy is failing in the face of new technology and changing social trends, such as zero-emission vehicles, ride sharing, and increased urbanisation. It urges short term reforms to the existing road taxation system, pushing it towards the longer-term aim of dynamic road user pricing.

Commenting on the report, Dr. Nelson Ogunshakin OBE Chief Executive of ACE, says: “Our report argues that in the years ahead only a reformed funding regime based on dynamic road user pricing will manage traffic flows and deliver the significant investment needed to keep the country moving.

“It’s vital that the Government starts these conversations with the public now, as to date there have been suspicions of road user pricing and fears that people will be priced off the road. This doesn’t have to be the case and there is a great opportunity to develop a fairer-for-all road funding system which delivers the first-class road network that this country needs long into the future.”

Some of the other recommendations of the report are to:

  • Develop a new overall National Roads Strategy outlining a co-ordinated approach beyond the national network, including introducing a Local Roads Fund to amalgamate and ring-fence funding for local roads;
  • Look at short-term reforms to widen the scope of Vehicle Excise Duty to include zero-emission vehicles, therefore securing revenue for the National Roads Fund;
  • Reform the existing HGV road user levy, using it as a pilot for the broader introduction of dynamic road user-charging across the network;
  • Establish a Local Infrastructure Tariff allowing councils to develop a sustainable revenue stream for local road infrastructure investment;
  • Increase private investment in England’s road network.

The report was created with the detailed input of ACE’s Road Sector Interest Group. Dave Beddell, Managing Director – Strategic Highways (Europe) at AECOM and Chair of the group says: “Such is the importance of the road network to our national economic and social well-being that we cannot allow the way in which we fund its future development and operation to become misaligned with emerging customer needs.  Alongside the increased levels of spend we have seen allocated to parts of the network in recent years comes an equally exciting opportunity for industry to work alongside Government in order to create an investment framework that supports a modern and sustainable road network.”

The report can be downloaded from ACE’s website. Follow the discussion on twitter #FundingRoads.

For more details, please contact Senior Communications Executive, James Ketchell jketchell@acenet.co.uk

 

Notes to Editors / About the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE):

  • As the leading business association in the sector, the ACE represents the interests of professional consultancy and engineering companies large and small in the UK. Many of our member companies have gained international recognition and acclaim and employ over 250,000 staff worldwide;
  • ACE members are at the heart of planning, conceptualisation, delivering, maintaining and upgrading our buildings, structures and infrastructure. They provide specialist services to a diverse range of sectors including transportation (road, rail, airport and ports), housing and commercial property, water, sanitation and energy and environment;
  • The ACE membership acts as the bridge between engineering consultants who make an estimated contribution of £15bn to the nation’s economy and the wider construction market contributing a further £90bn.
  • Find out more at our website (www.acenet.co.uk) or follow us on Twitter (@Ace_Updates).

 

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