Government plans for a lorry road user charge to create a level playing field for UK hauliers have been announced today (25 January), with hauliers urged to take part and provide feedback on the scheme.
The majority of EU countries charge British-registered lorries for using their roads, whereas foreign trucks can drive for free in the UK.
Transport minister Mike Penning says: “We want to ensure that UK hauliers get a fairer deal and help maintain the competitiveness of our logistics industry. The proposals I have set out today will ensure that all hauliers who use our roads are contributing to their cost, regardless of where they are from.”
The proposed scheme will charge a time-based fee of up to £10 per day for all lorries of 12 tonnes or over using any UK road. The exact level of charges will depend on exchange rate and inflation at the time of implementation – anticipated to be 2015.
By law, the scheme cannot discriminate between UK-registered vehicles and those from elsewhere in the EU, so the road user charge will apply to all lorries, however the government says UK hauliers will not see an increase in costs because they will be compensated for the charge, most likely through a reduction in VED.
There are seven proposed bands applying to HGVs, which align with existing VED levels, as set out below:
|VED Band||User charge rate: (foreign vehicles only)||User charge rate (foreign and UK vehicles)|
The proposed road user charge will be enforced by DVLA records, automatic number plate recognition cameras and via VOSA checks at the roadside, with fixed penalties issued on the spot. Non-payment of the charge would be a criminal offence, which could result in a fine of up to £1,000.
Hauliers are encouraged to take part and provide feedback on the full consultation, which will run until 18 April 2012.
Penning adds: “I want UK hauliers to get involved and respond to this consultation to make sure that the final scheme works for them – helping level the laying field with foreign hauliers, boosting their market share and increasing employment and promoting growth in the UK.”
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