Thursday, 10 February 2011

Lorry Drivers To Be Charged £9 A Day To Drive Britain's Roads

As if spiralling fuel costs, rampant insurance hikes and other factors aren't making it hard enough for transport companies, the Government is now planning to force drivers to pay £9 a day to travel on the UK's road system. 

According to the Daily Telegraph the plan will be rolled out in the Summer with a view to being introduced - via new legislation - by April 2014. 

Now Ministers are promising that lorry drivers won't be worse off because of the scheme. They claim other taxes will be reduced to compensate for the £9 charge. For instance, annual road tax could be trimmed to reflect the difference. 

The aim of the exercise, apparently, is to make foreign drivers pay for the use of UK roads for the first time. They would be charged via a 'vignette' system. According to the Telegraph the haulage industry is behind the idea: 
"We are for it," said a spokesman for the Freight Transport Association. "It's a charge which will apply to foreign hauliers, who should pay for their road use. "But we wouldn't want to be hit over the head twice with road user charging and existing taxes."
The only detail that's unclear is what system would be used to calculate when a lorry was on or off the road. The Government has ruled out a "spy in the sky" system involving compulsory black boxes. 
Sounds like an opportunity for telematics and vehicle tracking specialists. 

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