DfT launches consultation on HGV Road User Levy penalties for foreign hauliers

The Department for Transport (DfT) has asked for the industry’s view on a proposed penalty amount of £300 for foreign drivers caught at the roadside who have failed to pay the HGV Road User Levy when it comes into force next April.

The question is part of a six-week DfT consultation launched today (26 September) relating to secondary legislation for the implementation of the HGV Road User Levy Act 2013.

Under the Act, it is an offence for any vehicle over 12 tonnes to use a UK road without paying the appropriate levy. The consultation proposes a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £300 for UK-registered offenders, in line with offences of a similar nature, such as breaking drivers’ hours rules and exceeding the individual axle weights permitted on a vehicle.

For offenders without a satisfactory UK address, a financial penalty deposit (FPD), also set at £300, is suggested. The deposit would be held for a specified period, during which the recipient of the FPN may request a court hearing.

“If the recipient is successful at the hearing, the deposit will be returned; if the recipient is unsuccessful, the deposit will be put towards payment of the fine imposed by the court. If the recipient does not request a hearing, the deposit is put towards payment of the fixed penalty,” the DfT consultation stated.

The DfT has also asked for feedback on a proposed amendment to the way VED weight bands are set to bring it in line with the way the EU directive on road user charging sets VED rates.

The change will mean that a vehicle with a particular plated weight will be able to be loaded up to, but not including that weight.

The consultation closes on 7 November.

Commercial Motor 26 September issue - on sale now!

This week’s Commercial Motor is guest-edited by Richard Fry – the deputy MD of Frampton’s Transport Services and former chairman of the Road Haulage Association – and he brings years of experience in the business to another bumper issue!We take a look at issues close to Fry’s heart – including:

A14 toll is a tax on Suffolk hauliers says trade body

Plans to charge hauliers up to £3 for using the A14 amount to a “toll tax”, leaving the region’s haulage operators at a competitive disadvantage, according to business leaders.The warning from Suffolk Chambers of Commerce came as it launched a campaign against the plans to construct a toll road in Cambridgeshire.

Hammersmith flyover project will complete in 2015

The final phase of maintenance work on the Hammersmith flyover in London is scheduled to begin next month (October) with completion due in early 2015.The maintenance project, which began in late 2011, has involved strengthening the flyover’s 16 spans, replacing the bearings carrying the structure, renewing carriageway drainage, and waterproofing and resurfacing the entire structure.

Variable speed limits set for M4

Variable mandatory speed limits may start operating between J19 and J20 of the M4 near Bristol as early as Thursday (26 September) as part of the delivery of the managed motorway upgrade scheme, the Highways Agency has confirmed.The agency plans to open the hard shoulder on the M4 on a trial basis only in coming weeks, before making it fully operational later in the year after the testing and commissioning phase.

Repute tarnished for running haulage firm via Skype

A Kent haulage boss who attempted to manage transport operations from Canada using video-call service Skype has had his repute severely tarnished.In a decision following a public inquiry in September in Eastbourne, South East traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Denton (pictured) was told how Graham Wilson was sole director and nominated transport manager of Gillingham-based GTW Transport when Vosa carried out a maintenance investigation in October 2012.

What makes a good used truck?

In an upcoming edition of Commercial Motor (3 October), the winners of the inaugural Used Truck Awards will be revealed. The shortlist (CM, 1 August 2013) was drawn up by a panel of experts who proved candid and unforgiving in selecting the contenders; there was little room for sentiment.