Road tax out, Road Co-op in

  • Plan proposes each UK citizen gets a 'share' of road network
  • VED abolished and road charging introduced under radical scheme
  • Think-tank says average UK citizen would make £75 profit each year

An influential think-tank has come up with a radical approach to solving Britain's increasing congestion by giving each British citizen a 'share' in the country's road network.

The Social Market Foundation is proposing a road-charging system for Britain's motorways and A-roads accompanied by the abolition of Vehicle Excise Duty. Each UK citizen would then get a share of the road network and recoup the profits reaped from road-charging.

It works on the principle that those who use the roads less make a profit from share 'dividends' while those who use the road more lose out.

The SMF says that the average car owner would be better off under to the tune of a £1,500 asset and £75 per year under this system. The average two-driver household with two children, would be better by around £6,000 in assets and some £150 per year.

An SMF spokesman told Parker's: 'Yes, those who use the motorways and A-roads more often will end up paying more, but they would experience less congestion, use less fuel and there would be fewer CO2 emissions because cars wouldn't be stuck in traffic queues. Road-building is costly, slow and unpopular, and modal shift will never be large enough to solve the congestion crisis, so we must make better use of the existing road network.'

The spokesman added that the idea had had a mixed reaction, but denied that this was a far-fetched  plan, adding: 'Political parties should consider this idea because it does make the existing road infrastructure much more efficient.'