Non-payment of the HGV Road User Levy by foreign hauliers is a “major priority” for DVSA, according to transport secretary Jesse Norman.

Responding to questioning from fellow Conservative MP Andrew Lewer about whether the DfT plans to enhance its technology to tackle non-payment of tolls and fines issued to foreign trucks, or even ban offending HGVs from entering the UK, Norman said the following.

“Regarding the HGV Levy, the DVSA note that enforcement of non-GB HGVs is a major priority for them. In 2016-17, it checked just over 88,000 non-GB HGVs at the roadside, which accounts for more than 62% of all HGV vehicles stopped for enforcement checks.

“From those checks, DVSA issued just under 17,000 penalty notices. These covered offences including the non-payment of the HGV Levy, mechanical offences and drivers hours,” he said.

Norman added that in the past year, a number of vehicles were “directed out of the country” and many were immobilised until the problems identified had been rectified.

“There are no plans to change the rules on entry for this issue,” he said.

Regarding the Dartford Crossing, Highways England confirmed that the “vast majority” of foreign drivers pay the charges and are not issued with fines.

First-time users of the crossing that fail to pay for usage will be sent a warning letter and a further opportunity to pay the original charge without a fine.

“This avoids penalising road users that are unaware of the payment arrangements, and raises awareness so that advanced payments can be made in the future," said Norman.

"Highways England uses a private collection agency called EPC to chase those foreign drivers who do not pay tolls and penalty charges."

The government last week announced a reduction in the HGV Road User Levy for those hauliers using greener trucks.