Calls to bring in road pricing in UK to cut down car use

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Stagecoach, Britain’s biggest bus and coach operator, says an “honest conversation” is needed about tough measures to cut car use. Ministers haven’t ruled out charging for road use, after warnings that a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 will cost theTreasury £35billion in lost revenue.

Until then, Stagecoach says carbon emissions from cars will accelerate climate change and pollution, hitting air quality and people’s health. It also claims traffic jams cost “UK plc” billions in lost productivity.

And the company, which operates 7,900 vehicles via 19 regional bus operators, has told MPs making buses more attractive as a greener form of transport won’t be enough to convince motorists to give up cars.

In a submission to a House of Commons inquiry, the firm said: “We recommend the Government and local authorities implement further policy measures, such as congestion charging, road pricing, workplace parking levies or other forms of parking control.”

One likely charging option would be to fit devices to cars which keep track of where and how far they travel and apply a set rate, depending on the engine size and fuel type.

The AA agrees charging might be inevitable as a way of filling the black hole in taxes after fossil fuel is phased out.

But a spokesman added: “If road pricing goes ahead it must be cost neutral for drivers, so they pay no more in fuel and road tax than now and the rates must be independently set.”

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