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'Charge foreign lorries pounds 1k/year'.

FOREIGN lorries are to be charged up to pounds 1,000 a year to use UK roads in a move to boost British hauliers.

The new charge is designed to create a "level playing field" for UK haulage companies, whose heavy goods vehicles already have to pay for using roads in European countries.

The new charges will also be levied on British lorries - but they will receive a corresponding cut in vehicle excise duty so they will pay no more than at present.

Ministers want to implement the new regime as soon as possible and say it will definitely by done before the end of the current parliament in 2015.

The initiative follows a consultation on the plans earlier this year and comes as the Government seeks ways of kick-starting the ailing economy. It was welcomed by the Road Haulage Association.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "These proposals will deliver a vital shot in the arm to the UK haulage industry.

"It is simply not right that foreign lorries do not pay to use our roads, when our trucks invariably have to fork out when travelling to the continent.

"By introducing charges we will create a level playing field, increasing UK competitiveness and boosting growth."

Road Haulage Association chief executive Geoff Dunning said it was a "happy day" for road hauliers.

"We have been campaigning for years to see a system introduced which will lessen the financial advantage currently enjoyed by our European neighbours.

"UK hauliers travelling to mainland Europe have to pay road charges but foreign registered vehicles travelling to the UK pay nothing."
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 17, 2012
Words:265
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