HGVs could have to pay per mile

Published: 03 January 2018

HGVs could have to pay per mile
A pay-per-mile scheme for HGVs was in the news just before Christmas following an interview with the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling by Radio 4’s Today program.

The transport secretary’s comments with regards to a pay-per-mile scheme were picked up by various papers and publishers including The Times which said: “Britain’s first national pay-per-mile road charging system is being considered by the government”.

Since the release of this and other related articles there have been suggestions that a HGV pay-per-mile system would be a precursor to a system for all road vehicles in the future.

Meaning everyone pays for the miles they drive. This could be a solution as the government are facing a long term decline in revenue generated from fuel taxes with the introduction of reliable electric vehicles.

It seems, however, that the Transport secretary’s comments on the Today program could relate to a consultation paper on updating the HGV Road User Levy, which was launched in November.

The government commented at the time: “The government will work with industry to update the Levy so that it rewards hauliers that plan their routes efficiently, to encourage the efficient use of roads and improve air quality.”

One of the main questions asked in the consultation paper is:

“The current Levy already takes weight and axles into account. In reforming the HGV Road User Levy, should the Government consider a charge based on:
  • The Euro emission class?
  • Distance travelled?
  • Any other factors?”
The paper also comments on the use of technology including ANPR, tag and beacon and GPS tracking systems.

The consultation paper is due to close on 26th January 2018. Call for evidence on how to reform the heavy goods vehicle levy so that it:

  • rewards hauliers that plan their routes efficiently
  • incentivises efficient use of roads
  • improves environmental performance, including air quality and carbon emissions
The government want to engage closely with industry and individuals to develop these proposals, so if you have any opinions get involved!

The FTA is consulting internally on its response. Christopher Snelling, head of UK policy, pointed out that this kind of review of legislation was normal and that this consultation document made it clear that the intention was not to raise more money from vehicle operators.

However, he warned that changing the road user levy into a road user charging scheme would be very complex and disruptive. And he pointed out that an HGV only scheme would not be an effective way to manage road congestion.

“We don’t want something that is more costly, if it doesn’t achieve anything for the road user,” said Snelling.

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