Text Size

Current Size: 100%

Tax transport differently, experts urge

28 September 2016

A group of experts are urging the Chancellor to use the Autumn Statement (23 November) to change the way transport is taxed in order to better support the economy and help the UK to meet its environmental obligations.

The Transport Taxation Group, which includes environmental groups, transport operators, academics, consultants and think tanks, has written to the Chancellor with a list of suggested fiscal measures it believes he should implement. 

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport and a member of the group, said: “The Autumn Statement will be the new Chancellor’s first opportunity to outline how he plans to take the economy forward. Transport is a major contributor to climate change and to poor air quality. We believe there are a number of economic measures that the Chancellor could apply to the transport sector which would help us meet our environmental obligations and grow the economy.”

Measures put forward by the group include:

•    Introducing higher Vehicle Excise Duty and/or distance based charges for heavy goods vehicles, which are currently heavily subsidsed by the taxpayer
•    Use fiscal measures to reduce the number of diesel cars on the road, diesel engines being the main contributor to poor air quality
•    Adopt a system of Feebates (a combination of fees and rebates) to stimulate electric and other low carbon vehicle take-up 
•    Adopt a ‘fix it first’ approach to transport spending, rather than focussing on hugely expensive large scale infrastructure schemes with low cost benefit ratios
•    Abandon plans for extra runway capacity and replace Air Passenger Duty with a Frequent Flyer Levy.


For further information please contact Richard Watkins on 020 7566 6494 / 07984 773 468 or richard.watkins@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  •     The letter is available here
  •     The Transport Taxation Group brings together environmental groups, transport operators, academics, consultants and think tanks to come up with better ways of taxing transport.
  •     Campaign for Better Transport has produced a briefing on ‘Fix it First’. Read it here.
  •     Campaign for Better Transport has produced a report on feebates and how they could be applied to the UK. Read it here
  •     Campaign for Better Transport’s report on Lorry Road User Charging is available here
  •     For more information about the Frequent Flyer Levy visit http://afreeride.org/
  •     Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better      Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).