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‘Road tax’ is really a levy on pollution
SOME recent correspondents have a misconception about road tax. This was introduced in 1909 to generate income for new road building, but that link was severed in 1926.
Thereafter, income from vehicle excise duty (VED), as it now correctly known, was no longer ring-fenced for roads, but instead went into the Chancellor’s big pot, along with all other national taxes.
A smidgeon of VED now ends up in the transport budget and is used to fund motorways and strategic trunk roads. York has none of the former and just one of the latter – ie the A64 bypass.
Every other road in the city is managed and funded by City of York Council, via several millions of council tax revenue each year. But “road tax” is a powerful political idea, wrongly implying that the tax still directly pays for roads, and that drivers have more right to road space than pedestrians, horse-riders and cyclists.
Many government agencies have now started calling VED “car tax’ but it might be better classified as a pollution tax, since it’s now based on the size of engine and emissions.
Needless to say, pedal cycles are zero-emission vehicles, and are wholly exempt.
Paul Hepworth, Press officer, CTC North Yorkshire, Windmill Rise, York.
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