09/25/2012 (press release: shiply) // London, London, United Kingdom // Robyn Clark
Shiply has backed plans to charge foreign lorries to use British roads in an effort to boost the UK haulage industry, creating a fairer competition for business against foreign companies.
UK lorry drivers face fees to operate on European roads, while their foreign counterparts are free to use Britain’s roads without charge. Transport Sectretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “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”.
The new plans will raise money from the 1.5m journeys made each year on UK roads by foreign haulage operators. The proposed system would charge all HGV drivers £10 per day for use of British roads. However, UK drivers can then claim back this money against their road tax.
The Department for Transport estimates that it will raise up to £23.2m a year through the system. Road users will be hopeful that this money is spent addressing the wear and tear caused by foreign vehicles on UK roads. Similar systems are in place across the rest of Europe where, for years, UK drivers have been contributing towards the upkeep of European roads through toll charges or fixed fees.
Robert Matthams, Managing Director of Shiply.com, which has over 55,000 haulage and courier companies as members, has come out in support of the proposals which will be “welcome news” for UK hauliers.
“The lower price of fuel in mainland Europe, and the use of British roads for free, gives foreign companies an unfair advantage over their British competitors. The proposed changes will help promote a fairer and more level playing field.”
The government aims to publish a bill outlining the plans in October, with a new law to be in place in the next two years.
Founded in 2008, Shiply matches people needing to move goods with transport companies going there anyway. Over 25% of lorries run completely empty of cargo and over 50% run only part-full. By enabling consumers and businesses to make use of this spare capacity, Shiply.com dramatically cuts down CO2 emissions, and increases the profitability of transport companies and saves the consumer up to 75%.