26 January 2007, 14:00 PM
  • The recent Government proposal to introduce a ‘pay by the mile’ road taxation scheme will do more harm than good to independent retailers, it has been claimed.

Motorists Voice, a new organisation aiming to represent the motoring public, is campaigning against the proposed scheme, saying it will ‘undermine’ business and the economy.

Under the proposals every vehicle would be required to have a box installed that would monitor miles driven, the location and movements of the vehicle and speed.

Motorists Voice believes that the proposals would result in many businesses being forced to close due to the extra costs of running vehicles. It claims that small firms will be hit hard, even if they do not use vehicles, as suppliers and couriers raise their prices to cover the extra costs.

“The new taxation scheme will be extremely damaging to business, regardless of industry or size,” said a spokesperson for Motorists Voice. “Businesses will be left with the dilemma of whether to absorb the costs (and risk liquidation) or pass costs to customers (and risk losing their business to competitors who are better able to maintain cheaper rates).”

The group is also concerned about the knock-on effect on high street retailers, and fears more people will turn to online shopping to avoid the extra travel costs.