Could All Motorways Be Turned Into Toll Roads?

Sat 26th Mar 2022

Radical new plans to cover an expected shortfall in fuel duty could see all cars paying a fee to drive on motorways.

With more and more members of the British public turning to electric vehicles, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, the Treasury are looking for new ways to tax vehicles.

Controversial plans to cover the multi-billion pound loss have already been discussed, with many motorists agreeing that a pay-per-mile system could be a solution, with analysts suggesting most car owners would actually pay less tax. But while many different proposals and ideas are being discussed by transport ministers, the addition of toll roads across the motorway network is sure to divide opinion.

The M6 toll is the only paid for stretch of motorway in Britain, however toll roads are more popular and effective on the continent and in the United States. The M6 toll costs £7.10 per car, around 26p per mile for the 27 mile stretch of road.

Government insiders are suggesting that the solution is being taken seriously by those high-up in government, and Conservative MP Hugh Merriman, who is the chairman of the Commons transport committee has said that big ideas need to be considered.

"It may need more of a Big Bang moment to deliver it, when the fuel prices go right down and people then are charged per the mile that they use,” Merriman said.

"You can then price differently when there's congested times versus other times which can ease congestion aid reduction in air pollution.

"And it can show people different prices so they might want to use public transport rather than the price they're offered to drive.

"The key part of this is that motorists need to be assured that they will not be paying any more as a whole than they do right now.

"We argue they should be paying less, that's the only way it can really get sold."