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The RHA is warning the government not to create fleets of stranded assets as it moves to phase out diesel powered HGVs.

The call comes as the government mulls when to phase out the sale of new diesel HGVs and the introduction of road pricing to offset the decline in fuel and vehicle excise duty as the UK switches to electric vehicles.

The proposals are part of a consultation document recently launched by the House of Commons Transport Select Committee.

Dubbed Zero Emission Vehicles and Road Pricing, the document’s launch follows that of the government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution in November last year.

The plan includes a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, with all vehicles being required to have a significant zero emissions capability, for example plug-in and full hybrids, from 2030 and be 100% zero emissions from 2035.

It also includes plans to phase out the sale of new diesel heavy goods vehicles.

Announcing the consultation, the Transport Committee said: “The government has said that the tax system will need to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles and that revenue from motoring taxes must keep pace with this change.

“One consequence is that the £40bn annual income from Fuel Duty and Vehicle Excise Duty is likely to decline sharply in future.

A new system of road pricing — which can come in different forms — has been proposed as a potential solution, although in the past such schemes have been perceived to lack strong public support.

It added: “The Transport Committee will hold an inquiry into the implications of accelerating the shift to zero emissions vehicles and the potential for introducing road pricing, or pay-as-you-drive, schemes.”

It added that it will also look at when to ban diesel HGV sales.

However, the RHA is warning policy makers to consider the impact on hauliers when as it decides the timetable to phase out new diesel HGVs.

Tom Cotton, head of infrastructure and licensing policy said: “When operators buy brand new HGVs the lifespan is 12 years so an HGV bought today could still be operational in 2033.

“Policy makers must avoid a situation where they create stranded assets. Poor policy making can render a vehicle valueless overnight, such as in the case of the introduction of Low Emission Zones in London which left some operators with fleets of brand new Euro-5 trucks that became virtually worthless overnight.”

The committee is calling for views on a number of points including:

• The acceleration of the ban of the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2030

• How to encourage greater uptake of electric vehicles and the infrastructure required to support them

• The government’s ambition to phase out the sale of new diesel HGVs, including the scope to use hydrogen as an alternative fuel.

• The case for introducing some form of road pricing and the economic, fiscal, environmental and social impacts of doing so;

• Which particular road pricing or pay-as-you-drive schemes would be most appropriate for the UK context and the practicalities of implementing such schemes;

• The level of public support for road pricing and how the views of the public need to be considered in the development of any road pricing scheme;

• The lessons to be learned from other countries who are seeking to decarbonise road transport and/or utilise forms of road pricing.

The closing date for evidence is Wednesday 17 February. Further details can be found at