Next Tuesday 20th November sees the HGV Road User Levy Bill revisited with a second reading in Parliament which, should it continue to receive support from MPs, see it become law from April 2014.

There are strict EU guidelines that have to be adhered to when implemting any road charging and of course it must not be seen to discriminate against foreign vehicles.

Although the charge will also apply to UK vehicles, the Department for Transport (DfT) is seeking to make the levy cost neutral via a Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rebate.

Both foreigh and UK hauliers will have to start paying the levy come April 2014. UK hauliers will also have to take into consideration when their VED is due for renewal, as the levy will have to be paid at the same time.

Foreign registered operators can pay daily, weekly, monthly or annually with the maximum daily charge being £10 in line with EU legislation.

The charges will be calculated according to vehicle type, weight and number of axles whereas UK vehicles will be charged in bands (A-G), which will be the same as their VED band.

There are some exemptions such as certain rigid vehicles and there may be further exemptions in the future, but generally the charge applies to all vehicles weighing over 12 tonnes.

Needless to say it will be an offence not to pay the levy with fines up to £5,000 if you are taken to court.

So there you have it, the much talked about balancing levy (for all users whether UK or foreign) which has been requested by UK hauliers for many years.

It is the start of creating a level playing field for UK truckers but we are still a long way adrift from our European counterparts when it comes to fuel duty.

If the planned 3p per litre fuel duty increase happens in January 2013 it will simply be a case of one step forward, two steps back and lots of angry drivers on the road.

Watch this space

The Jordon Team