Bikes and the budget

Could the latest budget make life easier for motorcyclists as the chancellor pledges to banish the pothole?

Bikes and the budget

CHANCELLOR Phillip Hammond has just delivered his annual budget and the last one before Britain leaves the EU. But what does it mean for bikers?

Big news is that he has pledged to banish potholes from the roads and improve infrastructure. Well, not completely but in true political fashion, he is pledging to chuck a load of money at the problem in the hope that it fixes it.

£28bn has been handed to Highways England for ‘road upgrades’ between 2020 and 2025 with another £3.5bn of ‘new money’ (I guess they found that mystical money tree after all) to go towards improving major, local routes that fall under a local council’s remit. Think bypasses, ring-roads and the like.

On top of this, £420m is being set aside (for use this year) to help local councils to plug the vast number of potholes that pockmark the nation. That’s on top of the existing £300m councils already receive for this task.

The infrastructure improvement should be a good thing if they spend it on improving the lives of all road users and not just trying to force people to use public transport. And the pothole fixing is great news because, potholes are shit and they’re everywhere! Not only will it mean you no longer have to dodge the pools of muddy water that can shatter your BST carbon rims; potholes cost the UK insurance industry an estimated £30m a year in compensation claims. Reduce those and all of our insurance premiums go down!

In more good news, fuel duty has again been left unchanged at 57.95p per litre but is still well ahead of the amount of duty other developed nations pay: Australia pay 21p per litre and the US just 10.4p. With this being the second year that fuel duty has been left alone, does it just mean all riders and drivers are in for a shock in the budget next year?

But by then we’ll have left the EU and who knows what the situation will look like! In fact, pretty much all of the above could go out the window if the EU and the government don’t come to some sort of amicable agreement over the deal we/they get!

And I’m not even going to open that can of worms today!

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