Why isn’t beer tax used to build better pubs, or tobacco tax used to tart up newsagents?

BoozeFags

Alcohol and cigarettes are heavily taxed by the UK government. Drinkers and smokers pay big-time for their tipples and their filter tips. But why aren’t the billions raised by duties on booze and ciggies spent on bigger and better pubs, and swankier tobacco emporiums?

Because taxation ring-fencing is heretical, that’s why. The dedication of the revenue of a specific tax for a specific expenditure purpose is rare. The main UK example is the TV licence fee, a ring-fencing of funds for the BBC.

While it’s patently daft to argue that booze and fag taxes should be spent on improving pubs and building bigger tobacco shops, the exact same argument is wheeled out by some motoring organisations. They argue that the taxes levied on motorists should be spent only on…motorists.

Investigative TV programmes fall into the same trap. On Thursday, ITV’s Tonight programme wondered aloud why the duties paid by motorists aren’t all spent on roads.

The Tonight reporter said he could reveal that £47bn was raised in taxes but only a fraction of this was “spent on roads”. This ‘exclusive’ was attributed to the Road Users’ Alliance, and portrayed as though the statistic was new and shocking. In fact, the RUA has been using the same basic ‘only a fraction spent on roads’ stat since the alliance was founded in 2002.

“The Government raises almost £50 billion from motorists, and returns less than one fifth of this in spending which directly benefits the road user,” is the standard ring-fencing refrain from the RUA.

rua

What the RUA fails to stress – an error repeated by the ‘investigative’ TV programme – is that the money generated by motorists is NOT a fund to repair roads and build new ones; it’s money that goes straight into the national pot, the Treasury’s Consolidated Fund, the public purse.

Airline passengers pay taxes when they fly from British airports but nobody suggests all this money should go to building more runways. Ditto for pubs and tobacconists. The pub analogy used above isn’t new. Winston Churchill railed against ‘Road Fund’ ring-fencing in much the same way. In 1925, when Chancellor, Churchill said:

“Entertainments may be taxed; public houses may be taxed; racehorses may be taxed…and the yield devoted to the general revenue. But motorists are to be privileged for all time to have the whole yield of the tax on motors devoted to roads. Obviously this is all nonsense…Such contentions are absurd, and constitute…an outrage upon the sovereignty of Parliament and upon common sense.”

The ring-fencing had been started by Lloyd George in 1909, with ‘road tax’ and fuel duties pumped into a hypothecated Road Fund. For 17 or so years, motorists paid into a protected fund which helped pay for some road crust improvements and a handful of road realignments.

WinstonChurchill1925CommonSense

But such ring-fencing was always controversial; to the Treasury anathama. Churchill wanted to quash the Road Fund. He – and the Treasury – plotted against it. Churchill famously made ‘raids on the Road Fund’ in the mid-1920s, all but killing it off. By 1937, the Road Fund – which had been fatally wounded ten years previously – was finally abolished. Amazingly, the concept of a Road Fund, paid for by ‘road tax’ (still, wrongly, believed to be a payment for the upkeep of roads) has lingered on in the folk memory of motorists.

In a comment to a Bristol newspaper on Saturday, Hugh Bladon from the Association of British Drivers, used the phrase ‘road fund licence’, a concept 74 years dead.

Many other motorists – perhaps even the majority? – still believe that ‘road tax’ exists, and demand that the duties paid by motorists should be ploughed into fixing potholes, widening dual carriageways and adding to the UK’s motorway network. In reality, everybody pays for Britain’s roads via general taxation. Paying fuel taxes and Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) confers on motorists no right to the use of Britain’s roads. Motorists are allowed to use roads ‘under licence’, not as ‘a right’.

Motorists do not pay for use of the roads, motorists are taxed on buying and using their vehicles. VED is not a tax on roads, it’s now a tax on emissions: cars which spew the most CO2 pay the most Vehicle Excise Duty. Cars which spew less CO2, pay less VED. Cars in VED band A pay zero duty.

Motorists are not the only users of public roads. Pedestrians, cyclists, and horse-riders also use public roads. So do farm tractors but, even though they’re heavy and so damage roads, they do not pay Vehicle Excise Duty. They have to display tax discs, but these are issued free of charge. Motorists have been filmed attacking cyclists for “not paying road tax” yet there are no known cases of motorists attacking farmers for the same perceived ‘crime’. And nor do motorists attack band A cars, disabled drivers, the Royal family, or other “road tax dodgers” out there, of which there are millions.

UK motorways and trunk roads are paid for with cash supplied by the Highways Agency via the Department of Transport via the public purse via all UK tax payers; all other roads – that is, 87 percent of all the roads in the UK – are paid for by local authorities. Local authorities get some grant aid from national Government, but most of the cash for local roads is raised locally, via council tax. Non-motorists pay the same for roads as motorists.

[Come to think of it, those who pay the most council tax really ought to have more rights on roads than those in cheaper council tax bands. So, Merc drivers who live in big posh houses ought to have priority lanes on local roads and those motorists who drive cheaper cars from cheaper houses should be corralled in slow lanes.

And, of course, bankers and others on Britain’s rich list pay more tax than mere mortals so should get preferential treatment in NHS hospitals. Rich people involved in road smashes, and who need emergency care, by rights, should get that care long before poor people. But why stop there? Means-testing could be expanded to expensive drugs, too. Bankers should get life-saving cancer medicine when they need it because they pay more in annual taxation. Tis only fair. ]

It’s amazing that a supposedly investigative TV programmes such as ITV’s Tonight can spend 25 minutes raging against the “unfairness” of motorists paying £47bn in annual taxation without realising ring-fencing of these funds does not take place; has not taken place since 1937. Allowing interviewees to rant about ‘road tax’ without on-screen caveats is sheer ignorance on behalf of the programme’s producers.

Externalities
What Tonight also didn’t mention, and what organisations like the RUA don’t factor into their equations, is the many external costs of motoring. In effect, Britain’s motorists are subsidised to drive.

The 2009 Transport Select Committee report, Taxes and Charges on Road Users, calculated the total taxes and charges on UK road users as £48 billion per annum. The report quoted the typical annual expenditure on roads as about £8-9 billion.

In the same report, the Department for Transport estimated that the average marginal external cost of driving a car an additional kilometre is 15.5 pence allowing for the congestion (estimated at 13.1 pence per kilometre), infrastructure, accidents, local air quality, noise and greenhouse gases. This compares to 3.6 pence per kilometre paid in fuel duty and VAT.

However there are other costs to society as a result of our existing car-dependent transport patterns. In 2009 a Cabinet Office Strategy Unit report on urban transport attempted to quantify the costs of our existing urban transport patterns. Working with the Department for Transport, the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department of Health and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), they arrived at the costs shown here:

Costs of driving

The figures are based on the best available evidence sources, adjusted to 2009 prices. Where there is uncertainty or disagreement, they have stated the likely range as shown in lighter shading in the bars. The conclusions changed policy makers’ understanding of the situation. Previously, congestion had been thought to represent the majority of transport’s external costs to society. Now the combined costs of accidents crashes, air quality, physical inactivity, greenhouse gas emissions and noise at £27-38 billion per annum represent 71-78 per cent of the total.

The total cost for the English urban areas is estimated at £38-49 billion. Given that the Cabinet Office’s report states that this covers 81 per cent of the population, scaling up the appropriate impacts gives an estimate of £43-£56 billion for the whole of the UK.

It is important to note that the report makes no attempt to quantify the external costs of negative social impacts, despite referring to reduced social cohesion and interaction as a result of traffic. Yet research in Norway estimated that the cost of community severance (the ‘barrier effect’ due to transport infrastructure such as busy roads) is greater than the estimated cost of noise and almost equal to the cost of air pollution.

The Cabinet Office report also excludes the impacts of noise pollution on health, productivity and the ecosystem and does not attempt to quantify ‘quality of life’ impacts of the built environment. However it acknowledges that all these areas could represent significant additional costs, mentioning for instance an additional £4-5 billion for noise impacts on health and productivity alone.

Alternatively, estimates of the marginal costs of road transport provided in a report commissioned by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions result in a higher total cost figure of £71-95 billion (in 2006 prices). This excludes the costs of physical inactivity and other as yet un-monetised costs such as severance effects and loss of tranquillity. According to the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Natural England, the monetary values for landscape and loss of countryside have not been calculated.

The Campaign for Better Transport extrapolates from the Government research on marginal external costs to reach a total cost of externalities of £70 billion–£95 billion per annum at prices for 2006.

The Sustainable Development Commission, a non-departmental public body (2000-2011) responsible for advising the UK Governments, concluded:

“So it would appear that the overall costs imposed on society by motoring outweigh the revenues obtained from motorists, probably very substantially.”

And the externalities of driving costs don’t include noise pollution (£3.1bn); air pollution (£19.7bn – not including CO2); water pollution (between £1bn and £16bn); or obesity (£2bn).

Subsidy for driving

But there are other, hidden subsidies, too. Donald Shoup, Professor of Urban Planning at UCLA in the US, estimates that providing free off-street car parking in the US cost a whopping $386bn in 2002 (in the same year, the US government spent $349bn on defence). As UK town planners operate to similar rules to their US counterparts – in that any major development has to have a set number of parking places, most of them unfilled but there ‘just in case’ – UK drivers get similar parking subsidies. No doubt it’s in the magnitude of many billions of pounds.

Fair’s fair. If cyclists were ever asked to contribute cash to get a “seat at the table”, to have a say in transport infrastructure decisions, any payment they made for the provision of excellent cycle facilities ought to be offset by the cost savings made by cyclists for the benefit of the economy. Going on just some of the externalities, we could be due for a rebate of somewhere in the region of £50bn. Such a rebate isn’t far-fetched. In Norway, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration pay for employees to cycle to work instead of driving. In Copenhagen the city calculates that for every kilometre a citizen on a bicycle rides, society earns 1.22 kroner [25 US cents]. For every kilometre a citizen drives in a car, society pays out .69 kroner 89 [13 US cents].”

HYPOTHECATION & WHY THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A TAXATION OPT-OUT
Taxes and Charges on Road Users, a 2009 report by the Transport Select Committee, said hypothecation is “the establishment of a direct link between specific taxes or charges and specific expenditure. For example, taxes levied on alcohol might be earmarked for spending on hospitals. In the UK there is no such link for taxes.”

The report said:

“the Government opposes the idea of hypothecation of tax revenues. It argues that decisions about revenue raising and spending should be kept separate for two main reasons:

• if all income were to be hypothecated, it would create severe difficulties for those services that could not readily raise revenues, such as schools, hospitals, police and defence; and
• inefficiencies would result. For example, if a large sum was raised from road users, hypothecation would dictate that it was all spent on roads (or possibly other transport modes, such as buses), even if the public priority was for more investment in, say, education.”

There are no tax opt-outs
The argument about the Government raising £47 billion but returning “less than one fifth of this in spending which directly benefits the road user” is a weak one and motoring organisations do themselves no favours by wheeling out such an argument. In fact, they have been doing so from the earliest days of motoring but it doesn’t wash with Governments. Revenue ring-fencing is something vehemently opposed by Governments down the ages, and for very good reasons.

Motoring organisations would be better off arguing about the many benefits of mass car ownership; the ‘we pay squillions, so ought to get squillions back’ case is easily swatted away, behind the scenes, by Treasury mandarins.

The money paid by motorists does not have to go back to motorists. If it did, all hell would break loose. Interest groups of all creeds and colours would start demanding “their” tax contributions should only go to fund “their” projects. Society does not work that way; cannot work that way.

There are no taxation opt-outs: married couples without kids cannot strike out the amount of tax that pays for schools; pacifists cannot strike out the amount of tax that goes on defence spending. And motorists can’t successfully demand that the money they give to the Government is given straight back to them in the shape of smoother, less congested roads.

Smoother, less congested roads would be wonderful for all road users, not just motorists, and such infrastructure – a shared national resource – is paid for by all taxpayers, not just motorists. The public highway is, by definition, for the benefit of the public, not a sub-set of the public.

+++++++++

iPayRoadTax.com is an ironically-named campaign supporting the road rights of cyclists. The message that cyclists have equal rights on the roads is carried on iPayRoadTax t-shirts and jerseys.

  • Pedro Stephano

    Excellent! So many arguments to use here the next time a white van man lobs a missile at a bike rider, or a couple of middle aged ignoramuses (ignorami?) accuse a cyclist of not paying road tax.
    Maybe someone could design a “I Pay Beer Tax, Where's My New Pub?” T-shirt…………

  • Dickie

    “Motorists do not pay for use of the roads”

    This isn't quite true. To use the road, you must pay tax. If you use a vehicle off the road, you don't need to pay tax. Therefore, motorists *do* pay to use the roads. You don't pay VED to use a car off-road, on private property, so VED is *not* a tax on the purchase or use of vehicles (for that we have VAT and fuel duty, respectively).

    The section on “externalities” isn't really fair either. All you're doing is looking at the costs (or what you say are the costs; I am dubious as to the validity of some of them) without comparing them to the benefits that are derived from motoring. The use of road vehicles clearly saves (or indeed makes) money, by providing (relatively) cheap, convenient, quick transportation. It aids productivity and therefore adds value. Now, I don't have a clue how much money is made or saved through the use of motor vehicles, but I'd be completely amazed if it was less than the £4.38bn you claim as a “cost”.

    Additionally, you mention the costs of air, noise and water pollution, as well as the cost of obesity. I wasn't aware that motoring was the only (or indeed, even a major) cause of these things. It seems dishonest to include these wholly as costs.

    It's really shoddy economics to just look at the costs of something without comparing the benefits. You could write a similar article saying that cycling is “subsidised”, because we spend money on cycle lanes, treating cyclists who suffer injuries, and so on. I hope I don't have to explain why such an article would be foolish if it didn't also look at the benefits of cycling (e.g. less congestion, emissions, etc). The concept of motorists as “cash sinks” is really disingenuous.

    All that said, I agree with the point of the article that it would also be shoddy economics to ring-fence spending on the roads (although it probably wouldn't go amiss to spend a little more on them, as they're in a pretty embarrassing state at the moment).

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    Dickie

    I'm sorry, you're 100 percent wrong when you say “to use the road, you must pay tax…etc.” A car in VED Band A can drive around on roads without paying a penny in 'road tax'. VED is a tax on emissions, it's not a fee to use roads.

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    Brilliant!

  • Motoristequalsdodo

    The Vehicle Excise Licence vs the Road Tax mindset is a lost battle. Motorists assume that they have a divine right to drive as they wish, make road use by others (including children) uneccesarily dangerous. Whilst this unintelligent attitude persists what difference will be achieved by a battle of semantics. What's required is a system of punitive legislation that assumes culpability, in the 1st instance at least, on the part of the motorists. Until this happens all the word battles in the universe will have no effect, the only thing that does work is enforced observance of legislation. Why hasn't this been acknowledged yet?

  • Bob Nolan

    Road behaviour of drivers on roads is abyssmal, but far worse is the abuse of “Pavements” by drivers! They have no right whatsoever to drive their vehicles on areas set aside by Law for vulnerable citizens. If they want to use pavements then get out of their cars!

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    Abso-bloody-lutely. It's one of my pet peeves, too.

    I posted a video about 'pavement parking' a while ago… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK8pgPOB5zI

  • Dickie

    No, I'm not “100% wrong” at all. If we wish to be pedantic, VED is a tax on (some) emissions from vehicles used on the roads. It's effectively a licence to use a vehicle to emit CO2 on the roads. It's most definitely *not* a tax on emissions, because it doesnt scale with how much is emitted (i.e. you don't pay more for causing more CO2 to be emitted) and it only taxes the use of vehicles on the road. For it to be a proper tax on emissions, it would have to also tax vehicles which are not used on the roads.

    In other words, if I elect to use a vehicle off-road, I don't need to pay VED. If I then choose to use the vehicle on a road, I would have to pay VED. If the vehicle emitted a certain amount of CO2, then yes that VED is currently free, but I would still have to get and display a tax disc in order to use the car on the road. The current zero-rated band is essentially a “carrot” to get people to use vehicles which pollute less, but that's essentially an aberration.

    So no, it's not a tax on emissions. Unlike fuel duty…

    Also, I think you may have missed the point I was making on externalities. There most definitely is a need to bring benefits into the equation, because otherwise how do we know if the costs are worth it? You certainly do this when you decide whether to buy a Mars bar, it's just obviously a much less formal process. Think about this: there's probably a price at which you would decide not to buy the Mars bar; a price at which you would decide that it's too expensive. That price is when you judge the costs to outweigh the benefits and just because you don't formally tot up the benefits, it doesn't mean that you don't do so in some informal way. In other words, I presume you wouldn't spend £10 for a Mars bar, because you'd probably conclude that it's poor value for money.

    Imagine someone wrote a similar article about the NHS. “It costs £x billion per year! Isn't that bad!”, but didn't consider the benefits from the NHS. I would hope that you'd quite quickly realise that this theoretical article is not fair or complete in its conclusions. Yes, costs are costs, but simply focussing on them without considering benefits is not adequate, whether we're discussing the NHS, motoring or Mars bars.

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    The whole point of iPayRoadTax.com is to combat those folks who think VED is called 'road tax' and that their relatively small annual payment of VED somehow pays for road building and road maintenance. VED is a tax on vehicles, hence the name: Vehicle Excise Duty.

    It is not a tax on roads.

    As a tax on emissions it's a blunt instrument but a tax on emissions it is. Because it's imperfect – and not quite built for purpose – many legislators want to either scrap it or revise it.

    When you say 'use a vehicle off-road'…that's not so easy to define. Use a motorised vehicle on a non-tarmac, rough rural track that few people would call a road but is, in law, a public highway and the vehicle has to pay VED. Very few people would consider such highways, some of them formerly called Roads Used as Public Paths, to be part of the UK road network and the DfT don't classify them as surfaced roads. Farmers can get 'agricultural use' exemptions for their Land Rovers, so long as they only travel a mile or so on public highways. There are lots of vehicles that emit CO2 but are exempt from paying for their emissions. Cars used on private land are exempt.

    I've added in a line to the article about benefits, but orgs like RUA don't talk about cost/benefits when banging on about £48bn in 'road tax' paid by motorists, they talk about the costs to motorists only. I'm adding in the costs that society as a whole has to pick up.

  • Pip_walsh

    By any yardstick you use, motoring taxes have fallen.

    The costs of motoring are the same as they were in the 1970s.

    They went down in the 1980s – their rise is simply up to the level it was at some 25 years ago. In that time average incomes have gone up by 2 to 3 times. In terms of the average income, motoring has become very much cheaper.

    In “The Real Costs of Motoring” (August 1996) published by The Environmental Transport Association, (01932 828882, 10 Church Street, Weybridge, KT13 8RS. http://www.eta.co.uk) the costs (in £billions) of road damage and congestion, the impact of air pollution on health, climate change (global warming), noise, and of accidents not paid for by those involved are calculated as follows:

    http://www.rdrf.org/freepubs/pumpup.htm

    There is a widespread perception that motorists are already unfairly taxed.

    This is simply not true(1). In the year 2002-03 £26.5 billion was raised from fuel and road tax(2). Around £6bn went toward roadbuilding and maintenance that year(3). The cost of policing the roads and the expense incurred by the judicial system is estimated to be between £1bn and £3bn(4), while congestion costs businesses and other drivers £20bn in delay(5).

    The costs of the effects of air pollution and accidents due to road transport were estimated at £12.3bn(6) and £16bn(7) respectively. Then add global warming, the potential effects of which dwarf our entire economic system(. Clearly all of us, motorists and non-motorists alike, are paying for motorists to sit in their cars and pollute the environment, and paying heavily(9).

    http://www.rdrf.org/freepubs/pumpup.htm

  • Pip_walsh

    By any yardstick you use, motoring taxes have fallen.nnThe costs of motoring are the same as they were in the 1970s.nnnThey went down in the 1980s – their rise is simply up to the level it was at some 25 years ago. In that time average incomes have gone up by 2 to 3 times. In terms of the average income, motoring has become very much cheaper.nnIn “The Real Costs of Motoring” (August 1996) published by The Environmental Transport Association, (01932 828882, 10 Church Street, Weybridge, KT13 8RS. http://www.eta.co.uk) the costs (in u00a3billions) of road damage and congestion, the impact of air pollution on health, climate change (global warming), noise, and of accidents not paid for by those involved are calculated as follows:nnhttp://www.rdrf.org/freepubs/pumpup.htmnnnThere is a widespread perception that motorists are already unfairly taxed.nnThis is simply not true(1). In the year 2002-03 u00a326.5 billion was raised from fuel and road tax(2). Around u00a36bn went toward roadbuilding and maintenance that year(3). The cost of policing the roads and the expense incurred by the judicial system is estimated to be between u00a31bn and u00a33bn(4), while congestion costs businesses and other drivers u00a320bn in delay(5).nnnThe costs of the effects of air pollution and accidents due to road transport were estimated at u00a312.3bn(6) and u00a316bn(7) respectively. Then add global warming, the potential effects of which dwarf our entire economic system(. Clearly all of us, motorists and non-motorists alike, are paying for motorists to sit in their cars and pollute the environment, and paying heavily(9).nnnhttp://www.rdrf.org/freepubs/pumpup.htm

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  • Boardgirl

    Uh, Dickie, you ARE 100% wrong because it DOES scale with how much is emitted, as this site explains:nnhttp://drivingspirit.com/20092010-ved-tax-bands-explained/nn

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    Pity that site uses ‘road tax’ instead of the correct term, car tax, or Vehicle Excise Duty.

  • http://twitter.com/BCCletts Dave H

    Tut Tut Carlton please remove the word accident from the piece – there are very few accidents happening out there on the roads.u00a0 Plenty of crashes or collisions, most of which can be linked to causal factors (generally user errors) and compounded by conditions (road surface, speed, vehicle condition etc).nnI often ponder that through my Council Tax some u00a3600 per year goes to the Council’s nominally Transportation budget – mostly spent on roads.u00a0 I probably contribute more through this and the fuel taxes paid when I drive a hired car than many ‘motorists’.u00a0 nnOnce I did do a pro rata calculation on damage caused and other costs from riding a bike over a road compared to riding a car, and excluding those health and pollution figures arrived at the VED for a bike coming to u00a30.02p for a period of 80 years.u00a0 Do you think the treasury would accept a 1-off payment? nu00a0

  • http://twitter.com/BCCletts Dave H

    I’d also pick up separately on the parking issue. In 1935 the Highway Code got the signage right.u00a0 Roads Authorities are required by law to provide roads for just one purpose, passing and repassing traffic.u00a0 If they want to cut the cost of repairing roads they might focus on only repairing the roads that are needed for passing and repassing traffic, and make a lot less fuss about paving areas for cars to be parked, which in simple value for money terms is a frightful waste of resources. nnBack in the 1930′s we had a big white P sign on a big blue square, which told us where we could park cars on public roads. Stopping anywhere else was considered to be an obstruction to passing and repassing traffic.u00a0 This was a wonderful simple system, everyone understood.u00a0 No signs meant no parking, no dispute of that fact.u00a0 Than somehow someone must have won the contract for yellow paint and parking restriction signs, and opened up a worms nest for disputed parking fines.u00a0 Could we return to the old system please?u00a0 u00a0 nnThen we see the bivalent approach to a wonderful piece of legislation drafted in 1835 – The Highways Act, which used the term carriages and in this way enabled subsequent appearance of cycles and then motor vehicles to be classified as carriages, most notably for section 72 which prohibits the driving or riding of carriages and animals on the footway.u00a0 Despite the vilification of cyclists for doing this the far greater offenders are users of motor vehicles, with the evidence clearly seen in the sheer number of their vehicles parked on the footway – wheihc certainly were not liften in to place, and the toll of pedestrians filled and injured by motor vehicles driven on the footway every year – I think the current figure for cyclists is 3 deaths in the past decade, which rather points to the greater hazard.nnA great pity – and perhaps something to lobby for in that a photograph of a car speeding, driving through a red traffic signal, or using a bus lane is sufficient to get the registered keeper charged with the offence (or required to disclose the driver’s identity) but a photograph of a car parked on a footway cannot be used to charge the keeper or driver with driving on the footway surely we can sort that one out?u00a0 nnParking is also an interesting detail given that car use is now going down, and a number of city car parks are closing or only partly in use.u00a0 Even newly built car parks are not yet filled up – at a cost of as much as u00a323,000 per space.u00a0 Please let me know of examples and how we might re-use that space – perhaps for all weather cycling centres, or super BMX downhill runs on the old spiral ramps that many have to get between levels.u00a0 Best example to date – Coleshill Parkway Station currently with the parking ticket machines covered up and no charges for parking until September…. 2015.u00a0 Funniest story – a huge car park at a Lidl store where no one drives to go shopping, where cars appeared in a remote corner with prices on the windscreens as a cheeky local entrepreneur used it as a car sales site – for several weeks until someone noticed!

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    My bad.nnFret not. I shall expunge. Tx.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.juden Chris Juden

    How does the 9bn spent on road building and maintenance split between building and maintenance and between the 13% of the network that is main roads paid foru00a0centrally via the Highways Agency and theu00a087% paid for locally?u00a0Are we sure thatu00a09bn even includes the localu00a0roads at all?u00a0

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.juden Chris Juden

    How does the 9bn spent on road building and maintenance split (four ways) between building and maintenance and between the 13% of the network that is main roads paid foru00a0centrally via the Highways Agency and theu00a087% paid for locally?u00a0Are we sure thatu00a09bn even includes the localu00a0roads at all?u00a0

  • JohnnyB

    If ‘road tax’ actually pays for the CO2 output of the vehicle…how does this money actually reduce the physical amount of CO2 in the air? Is there a £50bn air filter on the M1?

    Is it a tax or a fine?

  • http://www.quickrelease.tv carltonreid

    It doesn’t. It doesn’t have to. It’s a non-ringfenced tax like pretty much all taxes. Pollute, pay.