FOREIGN truckers will be forced to pay to use British roads, under plans confirmed by the new transport secretary yesterday.
Patrick McLoughlin said the measure is designed to redress the balance for UK hauliers, who must pay levies to drive through Europe.
He told Sky News yesterday that “our companies are charged when they drive in Germany and other European countries so we are going to be putting it right”.
The plans are expected to raise up to £23m a year, with variable charges depending on the size of the vehicle.
The levy will also be imposed on British lorries, though this will be offset by a reduction in vehicle excise duty.
Ministers have been poring over a foreign haulier tax scheme for over a year, and conducted a consultation on the matter in spring. The Department for Transport will publish the results in October, with a view to introducing legislation within the current parliament.
The Labour party, however, claimed yesterday that the tax will not come into force until 2015, as it was not included in this year’s legislation programme.
McLoughlin also hinted yesterday that large upgrade projects on the road network will be announced soon.
The chancellor has already revealed a renewed focus on infrastructure work in a bid to boost the flagging economy.