Driving To Deliver Your Business

Government is considering Britain’s first ‘pay-per-mile road’ for lorries to cut HGV traffic and pollution

  • Department for Transport proposed to charge HGVs on basis of their emissions
  • Suggestion comes as fuel duty, worth GBP27.5 billion this year, expected to decline
  • That is because hybrid and electric cars are predicted to increase in popularity

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Ministers are considering implementing a pay-per-mile road toll system across Britain, it emerged last night.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has proposed that heavy goods vehicles should be charged based on emissions and mileage.

The suggested levy comes as fuel duty – worth GBP27.5 billion this year from petrol and diesel vehicles – is expected to decrease due to an increase in hybrid and electric cars.

Under the proposal, the charge system would initially be restricted to lorries.

The suggested levy comes as fuel duty - worth GBP27.5 billion this year from petrol and diesel vehicles - is expected to decrease due to an increase in hybrid and electric cars

The suggested levy comes as fuel duty – worth GBP27.5 billion this year from petrol and diesel vehicles – is expected to decrease due to an increase in hybrid and electric cars

But critics warned it could be the start of universal system for all vehicles in the future.

Duncan Buchanan, policy director at the Road Haulage Association, told The Times he feared it was ‘a precursor to road-user charging for every vehicle.’

‘The electrification of lorries – so the loss of fuel duty revenue – is not going to happen as quickly as it is for cars and other small vehicles,’ he said.

‘It seems we are facing a scenario where they are testing the technology on us.’

HGVs are already charged GBP11 on the M6 toll road in the West Midlands, while cars have to pay GBP5.90.

Drivers in central London pay a congestion charge, which was recently increased for older, polluting vehicles.

The DfT will seek public responses from next month for ideas that ‘incentivises efficient use of roads’.

It suggests the use of GPS-style tracking satellites and automatic numberplate recognition cameras to track vehicle mileage.

Drivers in central London pay a congestion charge, which was recently increased for older, polluting vehicles

Drivers in central London pay a congestion charge, which was recently increased for older, polluting vehicles

The document suggests a ‘charge based on the distance travelled by HGVs and by the emissions class of vehicle’ while suggesting it would ‘encourage operators to drive more efficiently, this could help to ease congestion’.

But it states that the objective is ‘not to increase overall revenues raised’ from HGVs but to help ease congestion.

The Treasury said the government recognised that revenues from current transport taxes were likely to decline as vehicles become more efficient.

A spokesman for the DfT said: ‘We are consulting on the HGV levy to help hauliers make more efficient use of our roads and improve environmental performance…

HGVs cause greater wear and tear to road surfaces than many other vehicle types, and are responsible for a significant proportion of transport emissions, which is why we are reviewing the levy.’

References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)



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