UK plans charges on foreign lorries

Few green highlights in finance minister's outline of plans for 2002/3 budget

Mentions of the environment were few and far between in initial plans for the UK's 2002/3 budget outlined by finance minister Gordon Brown today. Topping the green agenda was an announcement that the government is planning to charge foreign-registered lorries for use of British roads.

The government is now consulting on whether charges should be based on travelling time or distance. Mr Brown said that charging would allow some of the environmental costs associated with lorries to be recouped. However the decision is likely to be interpreted primarily as a move to protect UK road hauliers.

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