Road-user levy delivers
By: Dave Robbins
02 September 2014
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Early indications are that the HGV Road User Levy is proving to be successful, according to the Department for Transport (DfT).
Their figures show that the Levy, introduced in April this year, has already generated income of more than £17m since it came into operation.
Commenting on the news, Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said, “I welcome these figures which show that the levy is really working. We anticipated it would generate around £20 million a year: to take £17 million in just four months is impressive and shows that compliance has remained high since its introduction.”
The DfT says that more than 618,000 levies have been purchased for 112,000 vehicles from 76 different countries. Its figures highlighted that 95% of all HGV operators were paying for the road user levy, while the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency enforcement team has issued more than 850 fixed penalties for non-payment of the levy, resulting in fines totalling in excess of £250,000.
Mr Goodwill continued: “Before the levy was introduced, we had a situation where foreign HGV drivers could fill up their tanks on the continent, pick up business in the UK and return to the mainland without even buying fuel here – without giving a penny to help maintain our roads. Meanwhile British hauliers were effectively operating at a disadvantage. I’m glad to see this levy has addressed that imbalance.”
James Hookham, Managing Director of Policy and Communications at the Freight Transport Association, agrees. “The HGV Road User Levy is allowing UK haulage companies to compete with their foreign counterparts more effectively. UK road freight operators have consistently argued that foreign-registered HGVs operating in the UK should contribute to their use of our roads. The HGV levy ensures this, and in so doing helps those domestic UK hauliers who are in direct competition with foreign carriers for loads.”
Following the introduction of the charges all foreign hauliers using vehicles weighing 12 tonnes or more must pay the levy before using Britain’s roads. Costs range from £1.70 to £10 a day or £85 to £1,000 a year.