KCC calls for share of foreign lorry tax to come to Kent

Lorries and cars queue on the approach to the Port of Dover
Lorries and cars queue on the approach to the Port of Dover

by business editor Trevor Sturgess

The county council is stepping up pressure on the government to grant some of the proposed foreign lorry tax to Kent for improving roads and easing Operation Stack misery.

Councillors are meeting roads minister Mike Penning soon to press home the fact that 87% of overseas lorries entering the UK come through Kent.

The proposal is estimated to raise net revenue of £23m by 2015/16.

Although Mr Penning has previously ruled out financial help for Kent from the tax, KCC has vowed to make a robust case, arguing that the overseas lorries impose huge burdens on local businesses, residents and infrastructure. It will also stress the urgency of a solution to Operation Stack which causes massive economic disruption.

Bryan Sweetland, cabinet member for environment, highways and waste, said: "A significant percentage of the cost of the KCC solution to the problems caused by Operation Stack could be achieved from the revenue expected from the first year's charging of foreign lorries."

They did not "contribute a penny to the Treasury coffers, leaving the taxpayer (in particular Kent’s council taxpayers) to foot the bill for the external costs they cause."

Cllr Sweetland added: "To compound the situation, foreign trucks fill up with diesel bought outside the UK, where fuel duty is far lower, so not only do they avoid contributing to the UK economy at the pumps, they also put UK hauliers at a massive commercial disadvantage."

Kent would be "submitting a robust case calling for Kent’s share of these new revenues to mitigate the adverse impact that foreign lorries have on Kent’s roads, Kent’s residents and Kent’s businesses".

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More