The DfT has denied that it is looking to replace the HGV Road User Levy with a distance-based road user charge for HGVs.

The response came after the RHA issued a release stating that the review of the HGV road charging system had been confirmed by Duncan Price.

Price is DfT divisional manager for freight, O-licensing and roadworthiness and was speaking at a Policy-UK road haulage skills conference in London this week.

According to the RHA, Price said at the event that the review was at an early stage, but he indicated that the charge for HGVs might be considered along with a reduction in the level of fuel duty that hauliers paid.

In a statement issued yesterday (18 October) Jack Semple, RHA director of policy, welcomed this. “Such a project has the potential to make a significant contribution towards levelling costs for both UK and visiting foreign trucks but is fraught with potential difficulties for the industry,” he said.

The HGV Road User Levy, which brought in £50m in revenue last year from non-UK-registered trucks, is subject to legal proceedings from the European Commission (EC), which believes the levy contravenes EU rules on free movement.

Earlier this month an EU source suggested the UK had agreed to amend the levy. This came after a positive technical meeting in September between EC and DfT officials to discuss how the levy could be made complaint with EU rules. The DfT refuted this was the case.

However, a spokesman for the DfT initially played down Price's comments before confirming to that there is currently no review of the HGV Road User Levy underway.