RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “The Chancellor has fired a warning shot at diesel owners and drivers, with the suggestion in the Budget document that a new tax regime covering diesel vehicles could be announced before the end of the year.* This uncertainty is bound to be of concern to private and business motorists alike, who will be wanting urgent clarity on just what the Government plan to do. The RAC will take a leading role in representing motorists when the consultation goes live.
“We welcome more funds to tackle urban congestion – not least because congestion goes hand-in-hand with poor air quality, so tackling one can help the other. However, we’ll need to look carefully at how councils will be expected to bid for money. What we certainly don’t want to see is a situation where local authorities have to take part in an expensive, protracted process simply to have the funds they need to sort out well known bottlenecks on our town and city centre roads.
“We’re disappointed however that more funding wasn’t announced on preventative road maintenance – this is a missed opportunity given the dire state of many local roads. The RAC Pothole Index showed that the number of pothole-related breakdowns has doubled in the last ten years, and remain a constant source of frustration for motorists.”
* See section 6.4 of the main Budget document