The Department for Transport (DfT) revealed that almost 150 fines were issued to road transport operators for not paying the HGV Road User Levy in the first week of its existence. On day one alone £20,000 of fines were issued to 67 HGVs.
Failure to pay the levy is a criminal offence, attracting a £300 fixed penalty notice and foreign-registered HGVs, will be subject to a £300 deposit taken at the roadside. The levy will be enforced by the DVSA, (DVA in Northern Ireland) and the police. The maximum fine for non-payment is £5,000.
The scheme was developed to help create a more level competitive landscape for UK hauliers that have to pay to use some roads in the EU.
The Government expects to raise around £20 million from the scheme. However the funds will not be ring-fenced to improve the very roads HGV operators are being charged to use. £20 million is just a drop in the ocean of the estimated £12bn required to fix all the pot holes in UK roads but every little contribution counts and it would be good to see the money generated used to benefit the UK transport sector.
It looks like a winner for the UK Government. But what about UK road transport operators and what should the £20 million be used for?