Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed that fuel duty will be frozen for the ninth year running during this week’s Budget announcement.
The freeze was mentioned by prime minister Theresa May at the Conservative annual conference in Birmingham at the start of October.
Meanwhile, other notable issues affecting fleets and motorists included news that £30 billion will be spent on improving Britain’s roads.
Much of that (£28.8 billion) will go to the National Roads Fund – paid for by road tax – and includes £25.3 billion for the Strategic Road Network, which focuses on motorways, trunk and A roads. This £30 billion investment is said to be the largest ever of its kind.
Local authorities will also receive £420 million to fix potholes on roads and renew bridges and tunnels, while £150 million will go on improving local traffic hotspots, such as roundabouts.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Hammond said: “Every member of parliament will testify that potholes are high on the public’s list of concerns.
“So as autumn takes hold, I am making an additional £420 million available immediately to Local Highway Authorities to tackle potholes, bridge repairs and other minor works in this financial year.”
The chancellor also pointed out that the average driver has saved £1,000 since 2010, thanks to the nine-year fuel duty freeze.
No incentives for new car market
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), had mixed feelings on Budget 2018.
He welcomed further investment into infrastructure, but had hoped for measures to fuel new car sales.
“Amid continuing Brexit uncertainty, the automotive industry was looking for a stimulus to boost a flagging new car market,” Mr Hawes commented.
“We wanted to see more incentives for consumers to purchase the latest, most environmentally friendly vehicles.”
Gerry Keaney, chief executive at the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), was glad to hear that the Treasury is making plans to remedy any potential tax distortion caused by the transition to the new WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure) emissions standard in April 2020.
He commented: “It is vital that fleets and company car drivers are able to plan for the future, confident that they are working with more accurate emissions information and a fairer tax regime that rewards those who choose cleaner vehicles. These revised tax bandings can’t come too soon.”
Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “Britain’s motorists will appreciate the fact that fuel duty will remain unchanged, while it’s comforting to see that fixing the nation’s potholes is a priority.”
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Posted on 30th October 2018
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