Council demands lorry charge fee

Kent County Council is confident it has a "robust case" for the Government to hand over some of the proceeds from the proposed £10-a-day charge for foreign lorry drivers.

The local authority strongly believes that it should receive some of the revenue generated because its roads end up handling 87% of total foreign haulage arriving via the Port of Dover.

The Conservative-led council, which is the country's largest shire authority, expects this number to continue increasing as improvements are made to the ports of Dover and Calais.

Officials have created plans for the charge, which was unveiled in January, to ensure that foreign haulage companies contribute to road maintenance costs alongside British taxpayers.

Foreign lorries currently use the UK road network for free.

Roads minister Mike Penning will be quizzed by council officials during a meeting in three weeks' time, which will stress the impact foreign lorries have on the roads.

Highways councillor Bryan Sweetland said: "Clearly ensuring that foreign lorries pay to use our roads is the right thing to do. After all, many UK hauliers spend thousands every year on using roads in Europe via different road user charging schemes."

Copyright Press Association 2012