Budget 2020: How the Government’s plans will affect motorists

UK traffic

Key automotive policies include a £2.5bn pothole repair budget and over £1bn investment in EVs

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, today unveiled the Government’s Budget for 2020.

Among headline announcements including over £600bn in investment in infrastructure projects and unlimited resources for supporting the NHS, Boris Johnson’s Government revealed several important plans that are relevant for motorists.

These are the parts of the Budget that will affect the UK’s drivers and roads.

VED changes and consultation

The budget confirms an exemption of zero emission cars from the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) ‘expensive car supplement’ – an additional tax added to cars priced over £40,000. The Government is also publishing a call for evidence to explore how VED can be used to encourage EVs and reduce overall vehicle CO2 emissions.

Fuel duty remains frozen for another year

Fuel duty has been frozen for the 10th successive year since 2010. Current fuel duty rates remain at 57.95 pence per litre for petrol, diesel, biodiesel and bioethanol; 31.61 pence per kg on liquified petroleum gas (LPG); 24.70 pence per kg on natural gas used as fuel in vehicles, for example biogas; 10.70 pence per litre on ‘fuel oil’ burned in a furnace or used in heating. Sunak claims the continued freeze provides a saving to drivers of £1,200 compared with 2010.

Investment for electric vehicles

The Government has promised a ‘comprehensive package of tax and spending reforms’ to make it cheaper to buy zero- and low-emission vehicles. Key to this is the extension of the plug-in car grant until 2022/23, with the Chancellor setting aside £403m to fund it, alongside over £129m to extend the plug-in van grant, taxi and motorcycle grants for the same period.

Over £900 million is to be invested in nuclear fusion, space and electric vehicles, although, for the moment, the Government has not revealed how much of this will be allotted to EVs. £500 million has been set aside to support the roll-out of new rapid charging hubs so that drivers will be ‘never more than 30 miles away’ from a charger. A further £1 billion is to be invested in green transport solutions.

Biggest ever investment in English strategic roads

Today marked the largest ever investment in English strategic roads, with the Government promising to lay over £27bn worth of tarmac between 2020 and 2050, including 20 connections to ports and airports, over 100 junctions and over 4000 miles of road. Roads singled out for particular investment include the A417 in the South West, the East’s A428, the A46 in the Midlands and the crucial A303.

The money will progress dualling the A66 Trans-Pennine and upgrading the A46 Newark bypass to address congestion. It will also help build the Lower Thames Crossing, boosting road capacity across the Thames east of London by 90%, improve the M60 Simister Island in Manchester to reduce delays, add a new dual-carriageway and two-mile tunnel in the South West to accelerate travel on the A303 and remove traffic from Stonehenge. Other targets include the A1/A19 north of Newcastle, Yorkshire’s A1 Doncaster to Darrington and the links between the M4 and the Dorset Coast.

Meanwhile, £2.5bn has been set aside for repairing potholes. This is enough to fill 50 million potholes by the end of the current parliament and represents an investment of £50 million every year.  

Transforming Cities Fund

In line with its promise to ‘get Britain building’, the Government is adding £1 billion to the Transforming Cities Fund. This will finance new infrastructure such as a Central Park Bridge in Plymouth.

£4.2bn is to be invested in five-year, integrated transport settlements for eight city regions (West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Liverpool City Region, Tyne and Wear, West of England, Sheffield City Region and Tees Valley), while a further £1bn will fund shovel-ready transport schemes.

£300 million pounds will go towards tackling nitrous oxide emissions in towns and cities. These investments form part of a £600bn investment in UK infrastructure.


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Source: Autocar

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