Next time you hear someone complain about HGVs ruining Britain’s roads, you can tell them with complete confidence that the opposite is actually true, and HGVs are working hard to maintain the roads instead. According to new research by the Freight Transport Association, the tax paid by HGVs alone is almost equal to that spent keeping Britain’s roads in some sort of working order – regardless of what you might think of their current state.

The FTA commissioned independent research which showed that the tax from HGVs alone is equivalent to 94% of the total amount spent on road maintenance in this country. Britain’s roads cost central and local government combined around £4.7 billion – according to figures from 2015 and 2016. And HGV taxes for the same time period totalled £4.4 billion. This is on top of the fact that HGV taxes are triple the amount they are estimated to cause in damage to Britain’s roads. So while their negative effects and road damage are estimated to cost £1.5 billion per year, they more than make up for it with their contribution to road upkeep. The taxes counted covers vehicle excise duty, fuel duty and road user levy, and are part of the total tax of £3.5 billion which is collected from all vehicles nationwide.

hgv driving in london

As well as helping to counter claims that HGVs cause more harm than good to Britain’s roads, the figures are also being used by the FTA and others to point to that fact that not enough money is being spent maintaining the highways. Critics of the government’s road spending argue that if the entire maintenance budget can be covered by the amount collected by HGVs alone, then clearly not enough money is being invested into keeping the roads up to standard.

But the report will still be good news for HGV drivers and haulage companies, who can at least point to the official figures showing that they contribute more than their fair share when it comes to keeping the roads running. Anyone who wants to criticise the state of the roads – either because of negative effects of HGVs or anything else – is far better advised to go straight to central and local government themselves to ask why more of the tax collected isn’t being invested back into the roads.

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