RHA 'disappointed' by lack of levy enforcement in Northern Ireland
The Road Haulage Association has branded the lack of enforcement taking place in Northern Ireland in relation to the HGV Road User Levy as “very disappointing”.
Speaking at a meeting of the Northern Ireland Assembly on 12 May, NI Minister of the Environment Mark Durkan stated, in response to questions about enforcement of the levy, that as discussions about exempted routes were still under way and subordinate legislation relating to the levy had not yet gone through.
“DOE [Department of the Environment] officials do not have the power to enforce here, and therefore are not enforcing.No one is currently enforcing the HGV levy in Northern Ireland,” he said.
Durkan also revealed that the DOE has not yet even agreed to be the enforcing body in NI.
Reacting to Durkan’s comments, Jack Semple, RHA director of policy, told Commercialmotor.com the current lack of enforcement “displays a very disappointing lack of support for the haulage industry in Northern Ireland”.
“We expect the law to be enforced,” he added.
While Northern Ireland’s lack of enforcement appears to leave vehicle operators free to ignore the levy, the RHA says hauliers in Ireland “have been paying the levy in large numbers”.
“It is clear from Mark Durkan’s comments that DfT ministers have a robustly-held position that the law should be enforced. This is no more than we would have hoped and expected; and we have assured ministers that the RHA strongly supports their position,” said Semple.
Meanwhile former RHA national chairman and MD of Coleraine-based Oliver Transport Services, Willie Oliver, has confirmed to Commercialmotor.com that a meeting between the RHA and Durkan to discuss enforcement of the levy on the 20 May was cancelled by the minister. It has now been rescheduled for 26 June.