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Truck toll tax too complicated? 6/4/04
A leading academic has attacked the UK government's plans to introduce a distance-based charging system for lorries as too expensive and ineffective.

Professor Alan McKinnon of the Logistics Research Centre at Edinburgh's Herriot-Watt University delivered a critique of the government's truck toll tax plans just days after the Chancellor said the scheme would be delayed till 2008. Speaking at a press conference in March this year, to launch his report Lorry Road User Charging, the professor claimed that the plans lacked any coherent objective and only began to make sense if considered in the context of a future system covering cars as well.

He argued that the cost and complexity of the system being developed, particularly in terms of the telematics and communications technologies under consideration, did not make economic sense.

"As the system stands today," said McKinnon, "we'll need five times the revenue we get from foreign trucks just to run the system.' He stated that it was unlikely the government would want to subsidise the scheme to that extent and pointed out that the chancellor said the deal would only be revenue neutral at the start.

For further information contact:
1. Professor Alan McKinnon, Tel: #44 131 449 5111 or
2. Martin Hayes of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Tel: #44 (0) 2 074 948 050 or
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