UK Government Planning To Introduce ‘Pay-Per-Mile’ Scheme For Lorries

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The UK government is planning to introduce a new “pay-per-mile” scheme for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) to cut traffic on the roads and to also cover the cost of the wear and tear caused by the lorries to the British roads.

According to the BBC, the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has confirmed that the government is consulting on proposals to introduce mileage and emissions-based charges for lorries to ensure that continental trucking firms working in Britain are also charged towards the cost of using the British road network.

Mr. Grayling, however, denied any plans for introducing “pay-per-mile” system for the car users in near future.

Britain’s current HGV road user levy scheme was rolled out in 2014 to ensure that vehicles pay for the damage to the road network. However, this scheme is criticized by the British trucking firms as international drivers operating in Britain don’t have to pay any charges towards road maintenance under this scheme.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Grayling said the new scheme will allow creating a “level playing field” for the British and the foreign hauliers.

Grayling said that British hauliers complain that continental truckers enter Britain with tanks filled with lower duty diesel. These truckers spend several days in Britain and then go away without paying anything for the damage done to the British roads by their vehicles.

Grayling said the government is now discussing this issue with the industry experts to find out how the current levy system can be upgraded to make it balanced as well as effective.

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According to the UK Department for Transport (DfT), HGVs cause greater transport emission and damage to the roads than any other types of vehicles.

The DfT also revealed that there are proposals to let councils bid for maximum £100 million (around $133 million) of funds for the A-road they want to improve in the country. The scheme will include approximately 5,000 miles (8,100 km) of crucial A-roads, according to the Telegraph. A consultation has been launched by the government to find out which A-roads in the UK need immediate funds for restoration. Under this scheme, priority will be given to improving road safety measures, improving the key junctions, and widening the roads on dual carriageways.

In 2016, motorists in the UK drove approximately 324 billion miles—up 2.2 percent from 2015.

According to AA spokesman Luke Bosdet, many drivers complained of suffering a “daily nightmare” at some notorious pinch points. Bosdet has welcomed government’s latest efforts to ease the traffic flow on the British roads.