A new HGV levy has raised more than £17 million from foreign lorry drivers – enough money to patch more than 320,000 potholes on the roads.
More than 618,000 levies have been purchased for over 112,000 vehicles from 76 different countries since the HGV Road User Levy was introduced in April.
Recent evidence shows over 95% of heavy goods vehicle operators are paying the new levy in Great Britain. Roadside checks have seen DVSA enforcement officers issue over 850 fixed penalty notices to drivers who have not paid – resulting in fines worth more than £250,000.
Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said: “I welcome these figures which show that the levy brought in by this Government is really working. We anticipated the levy would generate around £20m a year – to take £17m in just four months is impressive and shows that compliance has remained high since introduction.
“Before the levy was introduced we had a ridiculous situation where foreign HGV drivers could fill up their tanks on the continent, pick up business in the UK and return to the mainland without even buying fuel here – without giving a penny to help maintain our roads. Meanwhile British hauliers were effectively operating at a disadvantage. I’m glad to see this levy has addressed that imbalance.”
James Hookham, from the Freight Transport Association, added: “UK road freight operators have consistently argued that foreign-registered HGVs operating in the UK should contribute to their use of our roads. The HGV Levy ensures this, and in so doing helps those domestic UK hauliers who are in direct competition with foreign carriers for loads.”
All hauliers driving trucks of 12 tonnes or more must pay the levy before using UK roads, but UK hauliers do so when buying their vehicle excise duty to keep administration costs to a minimum. Discounts are available for longer periods, with charges varying between £1.70 and £10 per day or £85 to £1,000 per year.