Foreign truckers will be charged up to £1,000 [$1,620] a year to use U.K. roads under new legislation aimed at boosting the competitiveness of domestic transport companies.
U.K. trucks will also have to pay the new levy to comply with European Union laws but this will be offset by a matching reduction in vehicle duty.
The new charge is intended to create a “level playing field” for British truckers who have to pay for travelling on roads in continental Europe. Foreign truckers also pay around 20 percent less for fuel than U.K. drivers.
Foreign truckers are estimated to make around 1.5 million trips to the U.K. annually.
“It is simply not right that foreign [trucks] do not pay to use our roads, when our trucks invariably have to fork out when travelling to the continent,” said U.K. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
The Road Haulage Association chief executive Geoff Dunning said it was a “happy day” for the trucking industry. “This is not enough to give us a level playing field as regards the rest of Europe. But it is a good start.”
The government says the new charge will come into force by 2015 at the latest.
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