Final bell tolls for British haulage industry

Thursday, April 14 2011

West Midlands MEP Mike Nattrass fears struggling British hauliers could be driven out of business by EU green tolls.

Toll charges across Europe could soar as the EU attempts to force through its Eurovignette Directive which would allow European countries to introduce so-called green tolls which would be a further financial burden for HGV operators.

UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass, who is a member of the EU’s Transport and Tourism Committee, says the EU’s moves to allow member states to introduce air and noise pollution charges would put a break on the UK economy, lead to price rises for goods on supermarket shelves and put some haulage firms out of business.

Distance-based tolls for lorries could become a reality on British roads as a result of the plans which are set to be put to the vote at the EU Parliament’s plenary session in June.

Mr Nattrass warned last year that the EU was attempting seize control over British motorways and introduce pay-as-you-go travel on our roads.

Commenting on the plans, Mr Nattrass said: “These EU green tolls would be yet another tax on British hauliers who are already getting a raw deal.

“UK HGV operators pay road tax to use British roads – foreign operators do not and do not contribute anything towards the wear and tear they cause to our roads. Yet, our drivers pay EU road toll charges to use roads abroad.

“This is clearly not a level playing field. A “Brit Disc”, paid by foreign lorries arriving at our ports, should be introduced to end the discrimination in this so-called single market.

“These green tolls will push further unnecessary costs onto hauliers which will in turn increase the price of goods in supermarkets,” he added.