The FTA and RHA have welcomed the HGV Road User Levy Act, which became law yesterday (28 February).From April 2014, all LGVs weighing more than 12 tonnes will be charged up to £1,000 per year to use Britain’s roads. UK operators will be compensated through a reduction in VED, of which new rates will be announced in the chancellor’s Budget Statement on 20 March.

RHA head of media relations Kate Gibbs said: “We welcome it with open arms. It’s been something we have been working towards for years and years and whilst there’s still a lot of work to be done, we think it’s a step in the right direction.”

James Hookham, MD of policy and communications at the FTA, said: “The FTA has supported the idea of a charge on foreign vehicles for many years as a way of partly addressing the competitive differences between British registered operators and foreign registered vehicles.”

UK operators will pay an annual or six-monthly charge for each LGV, paying the reduced VED rate in the same transaction. Foreign operators will be able to pay the charge weekly, monthly or annually.

Operators of all nationalities could be fined up to £5,000 if they fail to pay the charge.

Hookham said: “We will be watching to make sure that UK operators are not disadvantaged.”