Mike Nattrass MEP, the UKIP Transport Spokesman today attacked plans by the European Union to put more pressure on the beleaguered road transport sector. "The new version of the Euro - vignette would be a catastrophe for the HGV sector and the British economy. To be putting extra costs onto transport at this time will just ramp up costs when the wheels are already coming off the economy", he said. The plan, spearheaded by Belgian socialist MEP Saïd El Khadraoui is to specifically tax air and noise pollution from trucks.
"But", says Mr. Nattrass, "a CO2 tax is completely unnecessary as it is already factored into fuel duty. It is blatant double taxation. Worse still they leave no option for the operators, they are completely boxed in by this. Why does the EU see it as its role to punish the few remaining businesses without giving any alternate solution. Don't even try and suggest canals, you try and dig them through the Alps"
John Cooke, proprietor of Tameside Transport, an HGV operator said, "Another crazy idea from Europe। How can you apply a congestion charge to Trucks? If you succeed in forcing trucks off the road, you have empty shops or the haulier has to pass it on the costs to their customers. So really it is a tax on industry in the middle of a recession!"
The report can be found HERE.