The Labour Party today announced that it will provide under 25s with free bus travel paid for by ring-fenced cash from road tax. Labour said the funds would use about a fifth of the income from vehicle excise duty revenues, forecast to be £6.7 billion in 2021, which is currently fully allocated to road building.
Commenting on this, Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), said: "While we have nothing against free bus travel for the under 25s, we are concerned with Labour’s proposals on how it will be paid for.
"The UK’s roads are currently funded from vehicle excise duty (VED) and as road users are only too aware, the £6.7 billion fund is simply not enough to keep up with the cost of refurbishing our roads. The fund is already shrinking due to declining car usage and the loss of an additional £1.4 billion would make it extremely difficult to deliver the planned upgrades that our network needs to ease congestion across the country."
Declining levels of VED revenue is part of the reason why ACE, led by its road group, has called for a move towards dynamic road pricing for a more effective and sustainable way to pay for our road network. See more in the ACE report, Funding Roads for the Future which is highly recommended for all political parties towards formulating their future transport strategy to ensure UK roads are fit-for-the-future.