The HGV Road User Levy has smashed its initial £20m revenue target in its first year of operation, generating £44m in revenue from foreign-registered hauliers and prompting calls for the money to be reinvested in UK road freight.

Transport minister Robert Goodwill MP said last week that over 1.8 million levies had been issued to foreign-registered trucks (weighing more than 12 tonnes) since 1 April 2014, with most (98%) in the highest payment band, paying £10 per day or £1,000 per year.

“The levy is proving a huge success and it is right that all trucks using UK roads should make a contribution to the wear and tear they cause. This levy is supported by the British haulage industry and has levelled the playing field for operators,” added Goodwill.

However, James Hookham, FTA MD for membership and policy, said: “The higher-than- expected revenues are welcome news, but mainly derive from the purchase of a greater number of daily tickets rather than the budgeted number of annual tickets.”

He urged the government to re-invest the revenue to help UK operators. “£44m would fund more than 10,000 drivers through licence acquisition and Driver CPC courses. Rather than brag about the scheme, the DfT should be telling us how it is going to use this money to benefit British operators and businesses,” Hookham said.

Dominic Yeardley, MD of Eurovision Logistics, said the levy was a positive step, but agreed revenue should be spent on UK haulage, such as driver training or secure parking.

“But if it’s just going into the government coffers, then it’s not really achieving what it set out to do. It’s £44m going somewhere, but you’d think it should be directly benefiting the haulage industry,” he said.

A DfT spokesman said: “Governments have consistently opposed hypothecating tax revenue for particular purposes. The government allocates funding based on need, rather than how the money was raised.”