Is the pay-per-mile scheme fair on transport companies?
A new initiative currently being considered by the UK Government is the introduction of a pay-per-mile scheme for heavy goods vehicles to help reduce congestion and the increasing cost of damages caused to our road network.
The initiative would ensure all International drivers using British roads would be subject to the payment of a levy which would be put towards the upkeep of UK roads. Much like UK truck drivers having to pay tolls and levies when working abroad.
It is thought that the new legislation might be a direct replacement for the road tax charge currently paid by HGV drivers and operators.
However, The Department for Transport has also recently announced that they have no intentions to roll out road pricing but is consulting on whether to update the HGV road user levy, an initiative that was introduced in 2014 to ensure vehicles made a contribution to the wear and tear of the UK’s road network.
Commenting on behalf of the Department for Transport, Chris Grayling, Secretary of State, said “This initiative is about creating a level playing field for British and International hauliers. We regularly hear complaints from UK operators that too often continental truckers come to the UK with a full tank of lower duty diesel, spend several days working and driving on our roads and leave without paying anything towards to the upkeep of British roads.”
Adding he said, “We already have a system in place that provides some limited contribution, but we’re now consulting the industry for their views and opinions.”
In comparison however, a spokesman for the Road Hauliers Association said he was “worried” about the announcement.
In offering his view on the proposal, Route4 Solutions, Managing Director, Mike Harris said “Although it is good news that UK Government is reviewing ways in which to tax both British and foreign road users, I don’t feel it is right to target just lorries with a new tax, especially when you consider that the majority of drivers using our road network are not driving heavy goods vehicles. The proposed income stream has to be fair across the board and fair to our industry, otherwise we run the risk of being less competitive than our European counterparts.”
Although the outcome of the pay-per-mile is yet to be determined, we will wait to see in the coming months as to what decision the Government takes on this new initiative.