The Freight Transport Association has welcomed the HGV Road User Levy Act, which became law today. The levy will mean that foreign-registered lorries will have to pay to travel on UK roads, something that UK vehicles already have to do to drive in many European countries.
The levy, which will be introduced in April 2014, will be a time-based charge of up to £1,000 a year or £10 a day and will apply to lorries weighing more than 12 tonnes using UK roads.
By law, the scheme cannot discriminate between UK-registered vehicles and those from elsewhere in the EU so this charge will apply to all lorries but, for the vast majority of UK operators, this will not mean an increase in costs as they will be compensated through a reduction in vehicle excise duty.
James Hookham, FTA’s Managing Director of Policy & Communications said:
"FTA has supported the idea of a charge on foreign vehicles for many years as a way of partly addressing the competitive differences between British registered operators and foreign-registered vehicles. 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, and, so far, these have been met.
"The next key event is the Chancellor’s Budget Statement on 20 March when the new reduced Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates will be announced. We will be watching to make sure that UK operators are not disadvantaged."