RACF contributes to winning Wolfson prize entry

Per mile charge collected by insurers could replace fuel duty and VED

An entry contributed to by the RAC Foundation has won the 2017 Wolfson Economics Prize.

Gergely Raccuja receives £250,000 for his idea that a per-mile charge collected by insurers should replace fuel duty and VED.

Mr Raccuja's scheme - outlined in his report Miles Better - is a response to the Prize question: ‘How can we pay for better, safer, more reliable roads in a way that is fair to road users and good for the economy and the environment?’

Government would pay insurers a small fee to collect the charge.

According to the award panel, "Gergely’s entry argued that to restore trust between politicians and motorists, fuel duty and VED should be scrapped and replaced with a simple and fair distance-based charge that also captures road and environmental impacts."

Budapest-born Mr Raccuja is a graduate of UCL and works as a transport planner at Amey Consulting in Birmingham. 

The founder of the prize, Lord Wolfson, said:

“The 2017 Wolfson Economics Prize sought a better way to pay for better roads as congestion, pollution and potholes remain a source of daily misery for millions of people: undermining our economy, environment and quality of life.

“Gergely’s entry met that challenge, and is ground-breaking, yet simple – with the backing of a major motoring organisation.

“I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to Gergely and his contributors for their brilliant submission.

“Policymakers can learn much from this year’s Prize, and I hope they will take forward solutions to solve one of the greatest infrastructure challenges of modern times.”

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“To be involved in this winning entry has been a privilege, but the really crucial thing is what happens next. The common themes of several entries have been both the pressing need for change and the belief there is a better option to balance what drivers contribute to the finances of the country and what they get in return.

“Even if policy makers aren’t immediately persuaded by our arguments they know the clock is ticking for them to show they have got a plan that offers the country’s tens of millions of drivers a fair deal and keeps the country moving in increasingly challenging times.”

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