Select Committee on Liaison Minutes of Evidence

Letter to the Chairman of the Liaison Committee from the Prime Minister, 15 July 2008

Dear Alan,

  I promised to write with more detail about the Department for Transport's study into a vignette raised during my appearance at the Liaison Committee meeting on 3 July.

  The Freight Data Feasibility study was set up to identify and to assess options for delivering a database linking non-UK heavy goods vehicles with their operators as a means of improving road safety enforcement.

  The study analysed four initial options. A progress report in October 2007 identified that none of the options offered high value for money (that is, a benefit to cost ratio of more than 2:1). A vignette was the only option found to have a potentially positive business case at that stage.

  The study carried out a more detailed assessment of a vignette scheme and the Department for Transport published the conclusions of the study in April. I enclose a copy of that reposrt (which is also available at

  The report considers the benefits and costs of a vignette scheme and wider policy, risk and legal factors. The study concluded that the costs of running a vignette scheme offered a benefit to cost ratio of no greater than 1.25.

  The Freight Data Feasibility study informed the decision announced at Budget 2008 not to introduce a vignette at the current time because the road safety and other benefits were not persuasive. The Department for Transport announced a significant increase of £24 million to support its enforcement of high risk heavy goods vehicles on international journeys.

  I am copying this letter and the enclosed report to Louise Ellman who raised this with me.

Yours sincerely


Prime Minister

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