The news that the Government intends to go ahead with plans to introduce a charging system whereby foreign operators pay to use UK roads gets the thumbs up from the Road Haulage Association (RHA).
Geoff Dunning, chief executive of RHA, said: "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.
"We were encouraged when this proposal was first announced at the beginning of the year. At that time it was suggested that a charging system would be in place and working by 2014.
“To hear that the Government intends to have a system in place no later than the end of the current Parliament is a real added bonus.”
The charge is expected to be about £1,000 a year which isn’t enough to give “a level playing field as regards the rest of Europe”, according to Dunning. However, he added: “It is a good start and will help no end in beginning to prepare the ground.
"We are pleased that Mr McLoughlin has seen fit to bring forward this legislation so early in his tenure as Transport Minister; he is obviously very aware as to the important role played by UK hauliers in rebuilding the economy, increasing UK competitiveness and boosting growth."