I Pay Road Tax)
It’s often assumed that ‘road tax’ pays for Britain’s roads. In fact, it’s general and local taxation that pays for roads. Proceeds from Vehicle Excise Duty – a tax on vehicles, not a payment for use of roads – goes into the Consolidated Fund, the coffers of the Treasury. ‘Road tax’ – a ring-fenced pot of cash raised by motorists and to be spent on roads – was created in 1909, mortally wounded in 1926 by then Chancellor of the Exchequer Winston Churchill and no longer ring-fenced by 1937. Up until 1926, British roads had been – partially – repaired by the monies that accumulated from the tax on motoring. During the motorcar boom of 1896-1936, the British road network grew by just 4 percent, and the great majority of those new roads that were built were paid for not by motor taxation but from local authority funds.