RACF contributes to winning Wolfson prize entry

About this project

This project was the winning entry in the 2017 Wolfson Economics Prize. The prize aims to stimulate new and innovative thinking to generate original solutions to big national challenges and awards £250,000 to the winner.

Project background

The question posed for the 2017 Wolfson Prize was “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?”

Even as the number of vehicles on the road and overall mileage increase, tax revenue from motoring is falling rapidly in real terms. Electric cars contribute nothing in terms of Fuel Duty and little, if anything, in terms of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). Meanwhile the fuel efficiency of new cars has nearly doubled over the past 25 years, meaning that someone with a newer car could be paying half of what someone with an older car would be. Increasing cleaner and increasingly automated vehicles will infiltrate the existing fleet, which will potentially make obsolete existing annual charges and petrol taxes.

Project aims & objectives

The aim of this project was to come up with a solution that met the challenge set by the Prize brief, specifically restoring trust between motorists and politicians by introducing a simple and fair distance-based charge in place of existing taxes, which also captures environmental and road impacts.

Project timescales

The 2017 Wolfson Economics Prize was launched in October 2016 and awarded in July 2017. The full report is available here.

Project partners

Gergely Raccuja, a transport planner at Amey Consulting, came up with the prize-winning idea which he developed with input from the RAC Foundation.

For more information

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Updated: 08 Nov 2018