Fuel duty should be reinvested back into local areas to help bring crumbling roads up to scratch, according to the results of a national poll carried out on behalf of the Local Government Association (LGA).
Fuel duty revenue contributes more than £33 billion each year to the Treasury while the government is spending just under £2bn a year on maintaining and improving our roads over the next five years.
The LGA, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, is calling for the government to inject a further £1bn a year into roads maintenance by investing the equivalent of just two pence per litre of existing fuel duty. This should not be paid for by increasing fuel duty rates.
Cllr Peter Box, LGA transport spokesman, said: “We are all fed up with driving on crumbling roads that are not fit for the 21st century. Councils work hard to fix millions of potholes every year despite deep funding cuts and multi-million pound compensation costs. We want to do more but are trapped in a frustrating and endless cycle of only being able to patch up our deteriorating roads.
“This survey shows that the vast majority of people agree that a small amount of the billions they pay the Treasury each year at the pumps in fuel duty should be reinvested in local areas to bring our decaying roads up to scratch.”
The survey found 83% of those polled back the plan which is included in the LGA’s blueprint for the first 100 days of the next government to tackle the key issues facing Britain today.
Regionally, this total rises to 90% in Eastern England, 88% in Wales and 85% in Yorkshire and Humberside.
The poll, carried out by Populus Data Solutions for the LGA, also found one in five respondents said they would be more likely to vote for a party which committed extra money to fixing our roads in next year’s General Election.
It was a particular vote-winner for more than a quarter of men polled (27%) and for 29% of all people polled in Yorkshire and Humberside and 28% in London.
The LGA said improving roads would also help businesses suffering from congestion caused by frequent road repairs to better invest in jobs and growth and save motorists money from the cost of repairing damage caused by potholes.