Road pricing should be implemented as soon as possible, economist urges


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Len Shackleton comments for The Times

Tax and Fiscal Policy
Commenting on the Transport Committee’s new report published today, Professor Philip Booth, Director of the Vinson Centre for the Public Understanding of Economics and Senior Academic Fellow at the IEA, said:

“Governments have been discussing the pricing of road use for nearly 60 years. As is indicated in the Select Committee Report, a scheme to replace all existing fuel and road taxes should be implemented as soon as possible. Charges should vary with time of day and congestion, and with the size of vehicle. In rural areas, and at some times of day, there might be no charges. At congested times, charges might make the cost of road use much higher than is reflected in current taxes.

“There will therefore be winners and losers, but there will be less congestion and a stronger incentive to use roads when they are not congested. In addition, there will be an incentive to invest in the road network – including through the provision of private roads and motorways.”

ENDSNotes editorsContact: Annabel Denham, Director of Communications, 07540 770 774


IEA spokespeople are available for interview and further comment


Read the Committee’s full report here.


You can read the transcripts of Professor Philip Booth giving evidence to the Committee here.




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