In Brief

Budget 2018: Philip Hammond confirms pothole repair fund and fuel tax freeze

Chancellor commits almost £30bn to repair and maintain Britain’s ageing roads

Philip Hammond has announced plans to spend £28.8bn on the UK road network, as part of his final budget before Britain leaves the European Union.  

Highways England, the government-backed firm in charge of operating and improving Britain’s highways, will receive £25.3bn from the chancellor’s National Roads Fund, to be spent between 2020 and 2025, says car news site Motoring Research

The remainder of the fund has been sidelined to help councils improve local roads. 

Another £420m will be added to the existing £300m fund to help councils tackle the growing number of potholes, a problem exacerbated by the series of cold snaps earlier this year. Hammond said this fund can also be used to repair other road infrastructure such as bridges.

The RAC’s chief engineer, David Bizley, told the BBC that the cash injection for roads maintenance is “good news” for motorists.

However, he stressed that the Government needs to establish a long-term strategy to “eliminate the backlog in preventative maintenance”.

Fuel duty frozen

Along with the push to fix Britain’s ragged roads, the chancellor also announced a freeze on fuel duty for the ninth consecutive year.

The Daily Express reports that proposals for a 2p per litre hike on fuel tax are being scrapped, with the duty to remain at 57.95p per litre. 

The chancellor said the duty freeze will have “saved the average car driver £850 and the average van driver over £2,100” by April 2019. 

But campaign group FairFuelUK says UK drivers still pay among the highest fuel tax rates in the world and is calling for levies to be cut.

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