Foreign lorries to pay for use of UK roads by April 2014
Foreign lorries could be paying for the use of UK roads by April 2014, transport minister Stephen Hammond has revealed.
A debate on the Lorry Road User Charge in the House of Commons earlier today started the required bill on its Parliamentary journey.
It also coincided with the publication of the findings of the Department for Transport consultation on charging LGVs. This provides more detail on what the scheme means for UK hauliers.
In the document, it makes clear that the levy, as it is now officially known, would be cost neutral for the majority of UK hauliers. There will be a VED reduction to achieve this, as well as grants for vehicles with Reduced Pollution Certificates.
UK hauliers will pay at the same time, and in the same payment, as they currently do for VED.
For foreign vehicles, the charge will need to be paid before they use UK roads, and 90% of foreign vehicles are expected to fall into the top bands, which will attract annual payments of between £640 up to £1,000.
The bill makes it an offence to fail to pay the levy. Enforcement will carried out by Vosa and will include £200 on-the-spot fines and up to a £5,000 fine if it goes to court.
The Freight Transport Association described the levy as a landmark shift in sharing road costs.
James Hookham, FTA's MD of Policy & Communications, said: “FTA has supported the idea of a charge on foreign vehicles for many years as a way of addressing at least partly the competitive differences between British registered operators and foreign-registered vehicles.
"However, there were important conditions attached to our support to avoid additional costs and burdens falling on UK operators, as the charge could not be applied to foreign vehicles alone."
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) also welcomed the government’s commitment to the levy. “RHA members have expressed strong support for this scheme."