DfT revisiting distance based HGV road user charge19 October 2016

The DfT (Department for Transport) says it is to look again at truck road user charging based on distance travelled – with HGV charges probably linked to a reduction in fuel duty.

Confirmation came yesterday (18 October 2016) from Duncan Price, divisional manager at the DfT, speaking at a Policy-UK conference on road haulage skills, held in London.

Price said the review was at an early stage: distance-based charging could replace the HGV levy, which raised £50 million last year from foreign vehicles.

However, this is now subject to a possible objection by the European Commission.

“Such a project has the potential to make a significant contribution towards levelling costs for both UK and visiting foreign lorries, but is fraught with potential difficulties for the industry,” comments RHA (Road Haulage Association) director of policy Jack Semple (pictured).

“The RHA will engage fully with government, as it did when the previous LRUC was being developed, before being abandoned by HM Treasury in 2005,” he continues.

“At that time, current Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling, then in opposition, stressed that there should be no additional cost to hauliers.”

The RHA believes there are no legal or other grounds for objecting to the levy, the intention of which is to raise money for road maintenance and is paid by both UK and visiting hauliers.

Foreign hauliers buy virtually no fuel in the UK, so pay no UK fuel duty.

Brian Tinham

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