Charges will ensure foreign lorries pay for right to use British roads; cars could follow in future

The UK Government wants to introduce a pay-per-mile system for lorries in order to reduce traffic on Britain’s roads.

The system, proposed by the Department for Transport, would charge vehicles depending on their emissions.

Money raised from the levy would help fund road maintenance and repairs, which cost about £120 million per year.

The charge would also help offset a predicted reduction in fuel duty raised by the Treasury as sales of hybrid and electric car sales take off. Last year, £27.5 billion was raised from 57.95p per litre of diesel or petrol, but a 31% decline in diesel vehicle sales is slowing the new car market for combustion engine cars. Conversely, sales of alternatively fuelled cars have surged by a third in recent months.

The pay-per-mile proposal comes following complaints from British hauliers that they are unfairly hit by the UK’s fuel duty, which is higher than that of most European neighbours. Foreign lorries using Britain’s roads can fuel up abroad with lower rates, allowing them to use the UK network without directly contributing to its maintenance.

Such a system was considered for cars by the last Labour government, with former transport secretary Alistair Darling proposing a £1 per mile charge in a 2004 report. However, the plan was shelved following public backlash.

Current transport secretary Chris Grayling recently told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that there was no concrete plan to introduce a pay-per-mile system for cars. He said: “Lots of people [are arguing] for this and a lot of people think it’s the right thing to do, [but] we are not preparing that as an alternative route to funding our roads or to bringing in tax.

“We already have a system in place that provides some limited contribution, but we’re now consulting the industry and saying if we were to move away from different types of tax on hauliers and move to a pay-per-use basis, so that everybody – British, international – contributes to the roads, do you think that’s a good idea?”

London mayor Sadiq Khan suggested a pay-per-mile charge for the capital that includes cars. In June 2017, Khan said: “We have to make not using your car the affordable, safest and most convenient option for Londoners going about their daily lives.”

Khan produced a study that was “considering whether road use should be paid for in a way that better accounts for the impact and context of individual journeys”. It said: “This would mean that some journeys would cost more (at busier times of day or in more congested areas or in more polluting vehicles), while others would cost less."

A pay-per-mile system is already in place on the M6 toll road in the West Midlands, charging users depending on how far they travel along the route. Cars using the full length of the road are charged £5.90, while lorries pay up to £11. This fee does not take into account the emissions of each vehicle.

London has introduced a T-Charge that requires drivers of higher-polluting vehicles to pay an additional £10 to travel into the centre of the city. The levy, enforced from October, is added to the existing £11.50 Congestion Charge, so some motorists could pay £21.50 to enter the capital.

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Comments
8

2 January 2018

He forgot to mention that keeping the poorest off the roads will make it alot easier for the richest, the movers and shakers of London including left wing politicians, to travel across the city.

Due to growing population this will happen but not for the right reasons. 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

2 January 2018

Correct me if I'm wrong, but most people are switching back to petrol cars, which consume more fuel per mile and hence fuel duty income will rise!!

2 January 2018

So the Government gets £27.5 billion from fuel duty and can only afford to spend £120 million on road maintenance....

I make that 0.04% of the income.

Also, don't we pay something called "Road Fund Licence"?

 

2 January 2018

I have a diesel automatic MPV (Euro 6). I compared the real-world emissions with a petrol engined Ford Kuga automatic on this site.

Results:

Ford Kuga produces 4.33 tonnes of Co2 annually, mine produces 2.66 tonnes

Ford Kuga produces 3.63 tonnes of NOx + PMs annually, mine produces 2.33 tonnes

So much for "petrol is cleaner than diesel".

Perhaps politicans should do a lot more research and let the rest of us get on with our lives.

2 January 2018

What this means regardless of what we think, the fact is combustion powered Vehicles are on there way out, and, the Government has to find a way to replace lost revenue so a pay per mile system based on pollution or whatever has to come otherwise our Road systems will come to a crashing halt because we cant afford to repair them....!

Peter Cavellini.

3 January 2018

step 1: foreign lorry drivers pay per mile. Tick, acceptable to the majority

step 2: need to track foreign drivers as ppm probably difficult without this, add more cameras and number plate recognition to do this. Tick, still acceptable to the majority

step 3: UK residents pay per mile - to replace lost revenues...1/2 a tick, as well, somebody has to pay don't they?

step 4: compulsory tracking of all UK vehicles to make this possible.....oh, blast.

Paranoid? Moi? I trust all governments and politicians to do the right thing. Oh, that would mean I am gullible. Gullible or Paranoid? Now there’s a choice.

Spanner

11 January 2018

The government spends a small fraction of the amount of tax and revenue they take from motorised road users, on the roads. Here’s a concept, how about they spend it all and not use the majority on subsidies to other departments. Uk roads are poorly constructed, not built to last and poorly maintained..

None of the revenue goes to fixing local roads, or building new ones, that’s paid for from council tax, which will never be enough, which is why the road network is falling apart. Most of the uks roads are the original construction that’s just had tar and chippings chucked on it every 5 years or so. They were never designed for the amount of use, weight of vehicles or from water damage (due too virtually zero drainage, as they either don’t exist or are blocked).  I’ve had one tyre damaged and two windscreens in the last two years, due to the state of the roads.

road tax, tolls, whatever you want to call it, has nothing to do with the environment, health, or improving the road users experience (the ones that pay), it’s all about raising tax for central government to use on other projects, how do you think HS2 will be paid for.

15 January 2018

Surely the answer is to apply fuel duty to the fuel in the tanks of trucks coming across the channel. If I took my car to France, and came back with a trailer bowser containing 1000 litres of diesel, I would get questioned on it, so why is it accaptable to bring a similar quantity here in a fuel tank stuck between the axles of a lorry?

Allow incoming commercial vehicles to carry no more than, say, 50 litres, which would be  enough to reach a fuel station somewhere in Kent, where they could refuel sufficiently to complete their travels in the UK. Enforce it by applying fuel duty to every drop in the tanks if the 50litre limit were exceeded.

That would a) put foreign lorries on the same financial footing as British ones, and b) acquire revenue from foreign vehicles proportional to the wear they would cause to British roads.

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