GWA talks you through the key points of the Autumn Statement that will affect you as a driver.
Chancellor George Osborne announced motoring reforms in a joint 2015 Autumn Statement and Spending Review.
A permanent National Pothole Fund is to be set-up while cash will be invested into facilities to put a stop to Operation Stack in Kent as part of the Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review.
Over the next five years the Government will spend £250m to pay for pothole repairs and a further £250m in a major new permanent lorry park to take pressure off the roads in the event of Operation Stack.
The compensation culture will be tackled too with reforms made to claiming for minor car accidents. The reforms will remove the right to general damages for minor soft tissue injuries and remove legal costs by transferring personal injury claims of up to £5,000 to the small claims court.
Osborne said £1 billion can be saved in the industry and this should be “passed on” to motorists by insurers. It could cut between £40-£50 per year off insurance premiums.
The removal of the three per cent diesel supplement from company cars will also be delayed until 2021 ahead of the new EU testing regulations. Ultra-low emissions vehicles will continue to be supported, too, with £600 million invested between 2015-16 and 2020-21 to help uptake and manufacturing.
The Department for Transport’s operational budget will fall by 37 per cent but its capital spending will be increased by 50 per cent to £61 billion – “the biggest increase for a generation”.
There was no announcement on if fuel duty would be cut and Osborne also offered no clarification on the plug-in car grant which is due to expire in 2016.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The extra £50 million per year for road maintenance won’t clear the pothole backlog which the government itself puts at £8.6 billion but any extra money is welcome.
“After decades of dithering it is pleasing to see £250 million allocated to keep Kent’s roads clear when there is cross-channel disruption. HGVs should be parked up in permanent sites not on the motorways.
“With air quality at the top of many agendas it is no surprise that the Chancellor has decided to delay the abolition of the diesel surcharge on company car tax.”
MPs call for diesel scrappage scheme and VED reforms
MPs have called on the Government to consider a diesel scrappage scheme and introduce a nitrogen oxide-based vehicle excise duty (VED) but Osborne steered clear of the area in his Spending Review.
A report from the Environmental Audit Committee published in response to the Government’s draft plans to improve air quality in the UK had called on the changes with MPs believing a diesel scrappage scheme and including NOx alongside CO2 to determine VED bands would encourage drivers out of the most polluting diesel vehicles.
So as expected both good and bad news came out of this Autumn Statement. We will have to see what the future holds for VED reforms and talking the UK’s potholes.