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We took the occasion of a previous blog post to make you aware of the fact that the European Commission is strongly considering legal action against the UK as a result of the HGV levy imposed in 2015. Now, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) is fighting back by addressing the EU directly and warning our own government to prepare a vigorous defence. We would add to that by urging the European Commission to stop worrying so much about the levy and, instead, turn its attentions to HGV training.

As we already reported, Brussels is unhappy with the implementation of the levy. They claim the levy gives British hauliers an unfair advantage while also punishing foreign operators at the same time. It does nothing of the sort. Implementation of the levy only served to level the playing field by requiring all drivers who use UK roads to contribute financially to infrastructure maintenance. The same sorts of levies applied to UK drivers travelling on the continent long before the UK levy was introduced. That gave foreign operators an advantage here.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett not only defends the levy, but he also describes the decision by the European Commission to bring legal action as ‘nonsense’. Burnett says that the levy in no way violates EU law – in letter or spirit. He also says Brussels was kept in the loop while the levy rules were being developed. They registered no complaints or reservations from concept stage to adoption.

HGV Training More Important

It would be reasonable for the UK to consider dropping our HGV levy if every other country in the EU did the same. But since that is not likely to happen, it would be more productive for Brussels to concentrate on making HGV training more accessible to drivers rather than wasting energy (and finances) to bring legal action against our government.

The HGV driver shortage in Europe is a serious problem that only looks to get worse before it gets better. We are not going to solve the problem if we continue to allow the haulage and transport industries to fight it on their own. It is time for all stakeholders who have an investment in road-based transport to step up and help find a solution. Investing in HGV training in order to make it accessible and attractive to more young people would be a move in the right direction.

The HGV Training Centre is proud to offer industry-leading HGV training throughout the UK. Our size and efficiency allow us to provide comprehensive training that prepares our students to take and pass their tests the first time, further enabling them to get to work as quickly as possible. If you are interested in HGV training, contact us for more information about class locations, schedules, and pricing.

As for Brussels, it would be helpful for them to stop trying to divide us from the continent through such frivolous action. Forget about the levy and turn your attention towards HGV training instead.

Sources:

Transport Engineer – http://www.transportengineer.org.uk/transport-engineer-news/rha-urges-brussels-to-leave-the-hgv-levy-alone/118681/

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