Sunday, 2 August 2015

Road user charge fails to halt foreign domination of international freight . . .


Road user charge fails to halt foreign domination of international freight

Cited at:

After the first full year of operation, the government’s HGV road user levy has raised more than twice what was expected from foreign vehicles – but has done only a little to stem their domination of the international road freight market.

In 2013, there were 2.037 million crossings by powered freight vehicles between Britain and mainland Europe, with just 326,000 of them (14 per cent) being UK-registered trucks.

Traffic showed healthy growth in 2014, with 2.23 million crossings. However just 352,000 of them were UK-registered, giving UK hauliers a 16 per cent share of the market.

By way of contrast, in 1992, when the single European market first came into being, the market was pretty much 50/50 split between British and foreign-registered trucks.

The volumes of British-registered trucks crossing to Europe in 2014 is actually down on 1992’s figure of 374,000, while foreign trucks are up from 394,000 to 1.878 million.

That the Treasury is, at last, milking this cash cow is some consolation. Receipts from foreign trucks were expected to be in the order of £21 million a year, but were in fact £46.5 million. LRUC revenue from British trucks was £146 million, but this is pretty much revenue-neutral as a similar amount is discounted from vehicle excise duty.

The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency has found 95 per cent charge compliance when foreign trucks are stopped at the roadside.

At 27 per cent, Polish-registered vehicles were the largest national group paying the charge, followed by Romanian trucks at 12 per cent, Spanish at nine per cent and then Hungarian at seven per cent.

The levy has been paid by trucks at or over 12 tonnes gross weight using UK roads from 1 April 2014.

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