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Climate Taxes On Collision Course With Scottish Drivers

Road tolls and higher parking charges being considered by Scottish Government officials would “discriminate” against drivers north of the Border, a leading motoring body has claimed.

The measures, along with workplace parking levies and lower speed limits, have been identified by the Scottish Government in an effort to tackle climate change.

However, Neil Greig, head of policy at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, claimed the suggestions outlined in a policy report would lead to “unfair” additional costs being piled on Scottish motorists.

The Scottish-based expert said that as road taxes such as MOT and petrol duty were reserved issues for Westminster, any extra charge imposed by the government at Holyrood would “disadvantage” drivers north of the Border.

Mr Greig said: “In terms of charges and road tolls it would be entirely wrong for the Scottish Government to attempt to impose them.

“The Scottish Government has no control over road taxes, which come from the UK government so any additional charges would mean that Scottish motorists were paying more than those in other parts of Britain. This would be fundamentally unfair to motorists here and would be damaging to the Scottish economy.

“Motorists already pay record levels in fuel and other road taxes are high enough.”

Mr Greig also expressed concern about the proposal identified in the government policy paper for a 50 per cent hike in on-street parking charges.

The proposals, including a national road pricing scheme that would make motorists pay for every trip linked to the emissions their cars make, averaging out at about 8p per mile, were also criticised by opposition MSPs.

Jackson Carlaw, the Tory transport spokesman in the Scottish Parliament, said: “A lot of these ideas like extra charges for motorists would prove very unpopular and I would be very unenthusiastic about them.

“Also imposing these charges in a fragile economy could also cause a lot of problems.”

A proposal in the paper for a £300-a-year workplace parking levy was criticised by business leaders in Scotland.

David Lonsdale, assistant director of CBI Scotland, said: “Workplace parking levies were considered by the previous devolved administration and thrown out. The fear is that this would be seen as just another tax on business at a time when it can ill-afford extra taxes.

“Parking spaces are already taken into account through a firm’s liability for non-domestic rates.”

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