New charge for foreign lorries using British roads

Fleet of Eddie Stobart trucks British hauliers currently face a variety of road tolls and charges in European countries

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Foreign lorries are to be charged up to £1,000 a year to use British roads - in a bid to benefit domestic hauliers.

The fee will also apply to UK-based lorries - but this will be offset by an equivalent cut in vehicle excise duty.

The move is designed to create a "level playing field" for British lorry drivers, as they have to pay for using roads in Europe.

The AA said it was concerned the system could lead to a universal road charging scheme for all motorists.

The government will publish draft legislation next month and ministers said the charge would be brought in by the end of the current parliament at the latest.

The amount of the charge would depend on the size of the vehicle and is expected to raise a total of £20m a year.

'Boosting growth'

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "These proposals will deliver a vital shot in the arm to the UK haulage industry.

"It is simply not right that foreign lorries do not pay to use our roads, when our trucks invariably have to fork out when travelling to the continent.

"By introducing charges we will create a level playing field, increasing UK competitiveness and boosting growth."

British hauliers who operate in Europe face a variety of road tolls and charges while continental lorries can use British roads for free.

Road Haulage Association chief executive Geoff Dunning said it was a "happy day" for the industry.

"We have been campaigning for years to see a system introduced which will lessen the financial advantage currently enjoyed by our European neighbours," he said.

"UK hauliers travelling to mainland Europe have to pay road charges but foreign-registered vehicles travelling to the UK pay nothing."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 357.

    In theory a good idea, but my fear is it is the thin end of wedge. Will they then charge vans, then cars (inc UK cars)? The only way these charges go will be upwards and will be enforced with draconian efficiency. At the end of the day, we ALL pay more for goods in the shops if haulage costs go up

  • rate this

    Comment number 204.

    I used to work in haulage, and what would help more is a reduction in the extortionate amount of tax on road fuel, and addressing the appalling level of road congestion and endless traffic queueing we have.

    Many roads in Europe are free as they are here. At least in Europe it is possible to travel on most major routes without hours of congestion and misery. Give me driving in Europe any day

  • rate this

    Comment number 135.

    Is it really such a good idea? The extra costs will only be passed back to us with higher goods prices, as everything else is, and the rest of Europe will no doubt return the favor for British drivers on the continent by introducing their own foreign road users tax.

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    At last we are going to charge foreign lorries to use our roads - Lets hope this is followed by charging Cars and Vans as well.
    For years we have had to apply by charges on the Continent - Why should they get away without paying to use our roads. If we don't pay - we get our cars crushed !

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    Yay because protectionism is always a good idea, history has showed that time and time again states that try to shut down their boarders to foreign business become world super powers within days....


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