From April 2014, both foreign and UK registered hauliers with vehicles weighing more than 12 tonnes will pay a road user levy. It would be an offence not to pay the levy, for which the maximum fine would be £5,000.
However, UK hauliers will be no better or worse off from the implementation of the levy as they will receive an offset in their Vehicle Excise Duty.
This development is particularly important for Milton Keynes, says Mr Stewart (pictured), MP for Milton Keynes South and a member of the Transport Select Committee in Parliament, because it is home to a number of logistics companies who employ locally.
He added: “I am pleased with the Bill because it means that UK hauliers will no longer be operating at a disadvantage to their foreign counterparts. It also goes some way to help improve job security for local HGV drivers, some of whom have complained to me that the pressure from European competitors is making it difficult for them to find permanent work.”
UK hauliers currently face competition from foreign hauliers who do not pay UK road taxes, which go towards the maintenance and improvement of the road network. Their competitors can also easily refuel across the Channel where in general the level of fuel duties paid is lower than in the UK.
The Bill aims to put all HGVs on a level playing field.