Funds raised through the reintroduction of the HGV levy should be used to help prevent bridge strikes, according to the RHA.

It said hauliers want to know where their money is going and not think it's simply disappearing into a “Treasury black hole”.

The RHA said some of its members wanted to see improved signage near low bridges to help prevent lorries hitting them and drivers regularly complained about obscured, poorly-sighted and badly maintained signs.

The HGV levy returned this week after a three-year suspension.

Operators of vehicles of 12-tonnes or more must pay the levy which can vary from between £150 to £749 per truck.

The RHA said firms were already reeling from the spiralling cost of running fleet vehicles and that it was a bad time to roll out the levy again.

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As well as investing in signage near bridges, the haulage group said levy funds should also be used to improve road infrastructure:

“Poorly maintained roads are a blight to all of us,” said Richard Smith, RHA MD.

“They lead to collisions and damaged vehicles, and cause unnecessary delays which increase emissions and journey costs.

“Why not use levy funds to improve road surfaces which would benefit everybody?

“Better road infrastructure is a priority for us. Hauliers are key economic enablers and are now contributing even more again through the levy.

“We have to accept it’s back but firms will want to see where their contributions are going,” Smith added.