This week Parliament passed a Bill to charge foreign hauliers to use British roads. I welcome this Bill as it ensures that foreign companies pay a contribution to the maintenance of British roads, just as British-owned hauliers have to do. Local hauliers have been calling for this for a long time so there is a level playing field when competing for contracts. European Law limits the levy to £10 a day but this is at least a start.
The Government now needs to decide what to do with the money that is raised from the new levy. I think it’s fair and sensible that since lorries produce a lot of noise on roads, some of the proceeds should go to noise reduction measures on trunk roads – such as the A38 in Amber Valley. I took the opportunity to raise this in the debate about the Bill:
“I see logic in using this revenue to address some of the issues affecting our main trunk roads. If someone happens to live near them and is blighted by the noise and the pollution, that presents a real problem, and there has been a lack of money to deal with it. I have two sites on the A38 in Amber Valley, which are down as priority sites for noise remediation work. Unfortunately, that means that it will not actually happen until something like 2020, so this money could be used to accelerate that sort of work. The Minister is more than welcome to come and hear how much noise is created. I think it would be a positive step to say, “It is lorries that cause that noise; here is some extra revenue taken from lorries; let us tackle that issue.” That could take away the blight from which nearby residents suffer.”
As a more general update about my campaign to reduce noise on the A38, I have asked Patrick McLoughlin MP, the Secretary of State for Transport, to accompany me on a site visit to the loud parts of the trunk road running through Amber Valley. Hopefully this will provide him with some first-hand insight in to the matter.