The must bring tangible benefits (FTA) welcomes government proposals to introduce a tax on foreign lorries, but the leading trade body insists that for a lorry road user charging scheme (LRUC) to be worthwhile it must bring tangible benefits to commercial vehicle operators.
Malcolm Bingham, FTA’s Head of Road Network Management Policy, said:
"Foreign lorries make a considerable impact on UK roads, which has so far gone unpaid. This is in stark contrast to the rest of Europe where road pricing is evident in the majority of member states. To compound this inequality, foreign trucks tend to fill up with diesel bought outside the UK, where fuel duty is far lower, putting domestic companies at a greater commercial disadvantage. So, in principle lorry road user charging will help to level this rather uneven playing field."
An LRUC scheme would in practice be levied at the same amount for all lorry drivers, foreign and domestic, so it is important that the scheme is revenue neutral compared to current levels, which can be achieved either through lowering fuel duty or vehicle excise duty.
"As well as bringing fairness to commercial road users, the LRUC must also bring clear tangible benefits to transport operators, meaning that all revenues generated are ploughed back into maintaining and improving the road network. After all, by alleviating congestion, for example, it is not just commercial deliveries that will benefit but the environment, local residents and other road users too."