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Transport: Heavy Goods Vehicles

Volume 686: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In calculating the contribution which each class of heavy lorry should make to vehicle excise duty, what account they took of the latest calculations of the damage factors relating to axle weights;and whether any allowances are made inthese calculations for vehicles which are overloaded.[HL8052]

Vehicle excise duty (VED) for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) is banded by revenue weight. This is the confirmed maximum weight (ie, gross weight or gross train weight) for vehicles which are subject to plating and testing. For non-testable vehicles, this will be the maximum weight at which a vehicle can lawfully operate under construction and use limits (ie, the design weight).

HGV VED rates were revised in 2001 to reduce the total burden of lorry VED on the haulage industry and, at the same time, to improve the environmental signals that hauliers face to use lorries which cause less road damage and pollution.

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), an executive agency of the Department for Transport, stops and checks vehicles at the roadside. VOSA can issue a prohibition to any vehicle found to be overloaded, which prevents the vehicle being further used until the excess weight has been removed. VOSA can also prosecute serial offenders or those that have grossly overloaded their vehicles.

The recent installation of more in-road weigh-in-motion sensors (WIMS) enables VOSA examiners to more easily identify overweight vehicles.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Lord McKenzie of Luton on 24 October (WA 234), whether the Burns inquiry has addressed the question of whether heavy goods vehicles as a whole meet the costs attributed to their operation.[HL8054]

The Burns inquiry was not a government initiative but was privately commissioned and funded by the Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association. Resulting papers are publicly available on the internet at