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In news that is causing consternation among the haulage industry, the Government have confirmed that they are considering a ‘pay per mile’ scheme for HGVs. Such a scheme would charge HGVs for their road use – over and above their current road tax – supposedly in order to help repair any damage caused to the roads by such large vehicles using them on a regular basis. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the Government was also re-evaluating the current HGV levy, which should cover any and all damage to the roads through HGVs using them.

 

One criticism of the scheme as it currently stands is that foreign HGVs are not paying for the upkeep of roads which they also use when they work in this country, delivering international goods. However, the Road Haulage Association immediately defended HGVs and the haulage sector, pointing out that putting the blame onto HGVs alone was unfair and inaccurate. Acknowledging that more money did need to be spent on maintaining the roads, a spokesperson for the RHA also said that the new plans would place an unfair burden on HGVs, and could in turn have a negative impact on the British haulage industry, making it less cost effective than international firms and leading to UK-based HGV companies losing out on contracts.

hgv pay per mile

The new scheme is said to be under review because international drivers do not currently contribute to the maintenance of British roads, something the Government has claimed is causing tension among British HGV firms. Whether the UK haulage industry cares more about international drivers not contributing to the roads – as the Government suggests – or about HGVs being taxed while other vehicles are not (as the RHA argues), is unclear. But one thing that is clear is that HGVs have already been proven to pay for any damage to the roads in road tax alone, as we highlighted in a story late last year.

 

According to research conducted by the Freight Transport Association, the tax paid by HGVs alone is almost equal to that spent maintaining Britain’s roads right now, meaning the UK need not suffer deteriorating roads simply because of HGV damage as the money is available to keep up current levels of care. This finding would therefore point more to a lack of investment in the roads from the money collected, rather than a lack of road tax from HGVs needed to repair the damage.  The Government is also looking at which UK A-roads need particular investment, and has encouraged local councils to apply for money to repair them.

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