UK drivers face more misery and costs as Rishi Sunak ‘considers’ network of toll roads

Robert Halfon MP appeals to Rishi Sunak for fuel duty cut

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Motorists already suffering with the vastly increased price of fuel in the UK could face paying extra to drive on major roads, with a network of European-style toll roads being considered by the Government.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is likely to cut the cost of fuel at the pumps by 5p per litre tomorrow in a bid to go someway to countering the cost of petrol and diesel.

However that comes as treasury bosses look at other ways to boost coffers, with an increase in electric car ownership meaning road tax collected will drop.

Currently there are few toll roads in the UK with the major ones including the M6 near Birmingham which charges drivers £7.10 for cars and £12.90 for HGVs.

But according to a Government source speaking to the Times, ministers are now taking plans for an expanded network “very seriously”.

The source said: “It’s definitely being taken very seriously in Downing Street.

“The policy unit is giving it a thorough look and the problems with fuel duty now make it more urgent.”

Another option which has been recommended by the cross-party Commons transport committee is for monitoring technology that would charge drivers depending on the distances they’ve travelled.

However this would likely face backlash in towns and cities and earlier this year London mayor Sadiq Khan scrapped similar plans.

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The Government is banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 which will cost the treasury in the region of £35billion in lost tax revenue.

Rishi Sunak is likely to use his spring statement on Wednesday to cut fuel duty as he faces mounting pressure from all angles to act in order to help with the current cost of living crisis.

The cost of running a car each year has climbed to almost £2,000, up £300 on last year.

More than 50 Conservative MPs are calling for a cut in fuel duty to reduce the price of petrol and diesel.

Mr Sunak has warned he cannot “fully protect” the public from the rising costs but he is expected to slash the amount of duty on fuel this week.

Drivers in the UK currently pay 57.95p a litre on fuel, one of the highest levels of tax in the world.

More than 50 percent of the cost of petrol in the UK is made up of fuel duty and VAT.

Any cut in the duty made this week is likely to be temporary and comes as the Chancellor is resisting calls to scrap a rise in National insurance contributions next month.

Regarding the soaring cost of living in the UK, Money Expert Martin Lewis told the BBC: “I’ve been a money saving expert since 2000. I’ve been through the financial crash, I’ve been through Covid.

“Where we are right now, this is the worst.

“There is absolute panic and it has not started yet.

“(And) The big drive here is fuel and energy prices.”

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