Plans for a lorry road user charging scheme to create a fairer deal for
UK hauliers were announced on 25th January 2012 by the Department
for Transports Roads Minister, Mr Mike Penning.
A consultation document has been produced and made available and
responses should be made by Wednesday 18th April 2012.
Most European Union member states charge trucks for using their roads, whereas
in this country successive governments have always come up with excuses not to
make foreign registered trucks pay when working within the UK. This has always been
a bone of contention, especially when foreign registered trucks can fill up their
tanks with diesel over the water and pay far less than we pay here, thereby
having commercial gain every time they ply their trade in the UK.
Mike Penning has stated "We want to ensure that UK hauliers get a
fairer deal and help maintain the competitiveness of our logistics industry.
"Each year there are around 1.5 million trips to the UK by foreign
registered trucks - but none of them pays to use our roads, leaving UK
businesses and taxpayers to foot the bill.
"The proposals I have set out will ensure that all hauliers who
use our roads are contributing to their cost, regardless of where they are
“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 playing
field with foreign hauliers, boosting their market share and increasing
employment and promoting growth in the UK.”
The proposed scheme will levy a time-based charge of around up to £10.00
a day for commercial vehicles of 12 tonnes or over using any road in the UK.
The precise level of charges will depend on exchange rates and inflation at the
time of implementation - likely to be 2015, subject to the legislative
By law, the scheme cannot discriminate between UK-registered vehicles
and vehicles from elsewhere in the EU so this charge will apply to all trucks
but, for the vast majority of UK hauliers, this will not mean an increase in
costs because the Government proposes to compensate them for the charge.
The most likely compensation measure will be a reduction in Vehicle
Excise Duty for UK-registered vehicles.
For 94% of UK-registered HGVs over 12 tonnes the government alleges
that hauliers would not pay any more than now. They say that 4% would pay no
more than £50.00 a year more and a further 2% would pay slightly over £50.00,
but the maximum extra cost would be £79.00.
Under the plans, UK hauliers would pay an annual (or six monthly)
charge for each HGV at the same time and in the same transaction as they pay
its Vehicle Excise Duty. Foreign hauliers could pay daily, weekly, monthly or
The consultation can be found here: http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2012-03
The lorry road user charge would apply to heavy goods vehicles (HGVs)
of 12 tonnes and over. There are seven proposed main charge bands applying to
most HGVs. These charge bands align with existing Vehicle Excise Duty bands for
these vehicles. Both the charge and Vehicle Excise Duty are intended to reflect
the different levels of damage caused to the road by the vehicle. The charges
for each band are set out in a table that is available from DfT.
To view the table follow the link below;
The charging levels must comply with the Eurovignette Directive
(Directive 1999/62/EC as amended by 2006/38/EC and 2011/76/EU) which sets out a
framework of rules for tolls and charges, including maximum daily rates for the
Non-payment of the user charge would be a criminal offence, which could
result in a fine imposed by the courts of up to £1,000. The user charge would
be enforced by DVLA records, ANPR cameras and checks by the Vehicle and
Operator Services Agency (VOSA) at the roadside. VOSA would also be able to
issue fixed penalties on the spot to non-compliant drivers (and take financial
deposits from drivers based outside the UK).
Steve Williams - 25/01/2012