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British road charge for foreign hauliers under consultation

By: Elizabeth Smythe
25 January 2012

Foreign-registered lorries could be charged £10 per day to drive on British roads, should new plans be approved.

The government's proposal aims to address the current "unfair" system whereby British hauliers pay road tolls and charges while driving in Europe, yet foreign firms can drive in the UK for free.

According to BBC News, EU firms make one and a half million trips to the UK annually, paying nothing to use the roads. Whereas a two-day round trip to The Netherlands would cost a British truck driver €16 in tolls.

Hence the government wants to change the law and consequently, the Department of Transport is due to announce a consultation on the plans imminently.

As it is illegal, as those with driving jobs will probably know, to discriminate between UK and EU lorries, all vehicles will be charged up to £10 each day. However, British firms would receive a refund as they already pay road tax.

The move is supported by the Road Hauliers Association, who have lobbied for a change for many years. The charge would serve as a contribution towards the maintenance and repair of British roads.

Commenting on the idea to The Telegraph, roads minister, Mike Penning said: "A lorry road user charge would ensure that all hauliers who use our roads are contributing to their cost, regardless of where they are from - helping UK hauliers to get a fairer deal and increasing employment and promoting growth in the UK."

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