It is a victory for hauliers furious that UK lorry drivers face toll charges in Europe while European drivers pay nothing for the upkeep of our roads.
Sources say foreign truckers will be expected to pay the charge in advance over the internet and will be hit with swingeing fines for not doing so. CCTV cameras at ports and on major roads will check to see if they have paid. With around 15,000 foreign lorries on British roads every day, the charge could raise more than £50million a year for the Treasury.
But it will leave Brussels bureaucrats furious and spark another row with the EU.
Foreign-registered HGVs make 1.5 million trips to the UK a year — but do not pay any vehicle duty to use our roads and motorways.
That leaves them with a competitive advantage over British firms.
By contrast, our truckers have to fork out an average of £14 a day at toll booths on the Continent.
Roads minister Mike Penning will announce a Government consultation on the new charge today.
Mr Penning will tell MPs: “A lorry road user charge would ensure that all hauliers who use our roads are contributing to their cost, regardless of where they are from. This will help UK hauliers to get a fairer deal and increase employment and promote growth in the UK.”
To get around EU law, British truckers must also pay the £10 charge. But they will be refunded by being let off other taxes.
The move also fulfils a vow made by the Tories and Lib Dems in the Coalition Agreement.