Exclusive Motorways – Good or Bad

So how would you like to invest in a motorway? The wonderful and rounded M25 may well be to your liking or you may prefer the stunning and sleeker M1 which may be much more desirable. Either way the government has reported they are deciding on selling of the key road networks in the country to investors. This statement has been greeted with mixed responses. How could the government put up for sale something which doesn’t belong to them in the first place? Surely we have paid for the motorways with our taxes?

In the past the very first road tax was generally known as Road Fund Licence and originated in 1909 by David Lloyd George as a technique of boosting revenue particularly for UK roads. Today the duty is called Vehicle Excise Duty.

Similar to National Insurance, that has been created to fund welfare, the money raised as a result of Vehicle Excise Duty have become yet another way of boosting taxes for other things. One estimate claims that around £45 billion is collected yearly through road tax yet only around £11 billion is actually used maintenance and new roads.

The only way drivers are going to be swayed to say yes to selling off the motorways or privatised lanes is a lowering of Vehicle Excise Duty. The commercial advantages for the privitisation could possibly be validated with the intention to help the economic climate. Nevertheless the political factors are likely to be very hard to take in.

An investigation in 2009 claimed that this government could very well raise up to £94 billion with this sale. Road businesses would bid to control and in addition maintain stretches of the network. One model of the program would see the British government carrying out maintenance on the road networks with another, more controversial, system using tolls.

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