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‘HGV levy is nonsense’

  • 20 April 2014
  • By Hayley Pink

The MD of Baxter Freight, Ian Baxter, said the HGV Road User Levy will do nothing to enhance the UK haulage industry’s competitiveness against foreign counterparts.

He claims the argument to introduce a fee for foreign hauliers that do not face VED and are unfair competition to domestic firms is “nonsense” – first, because cabotage regulations prevent foreign hauliers from consistently carrying out UK domestic work; and second, because British trucks only carry out a small percentage of standard European work due to the imbalance of trade between the UK and the continent.

“Twice as many full loads come into the UK as go out, so round trips inevitably and correctly start on the continent using trucks based there motivated by the higher inbound rates. No amount of level playing field taxation will affect this,” he said.

Baxter said that while Austria, Germany and Switzerland have similar charges, they do this to catch transit traffic where hauliers use their roads for transporting cargo that isn’t going from or to their countries. This isn’t relevant to Britain, apart from a small percentage of goods transiting to or from Ireland. “While this new tax raises money from foreign hauliers, [Britain] pays the bill,” said Baxter.

  • Nearly 215 fines were handed out to those who had not paid the HGV levy by 14 April, said the Department for Transport. Almost 78,000 trucks were registered to use UK roads. Around 92,000 levies were purchased by operators from 50 different countries. For more, see


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