Letter to the Chairman of the Liaison
Committee from the Prime Minister, 15 July 2008
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 http://www.dft.gov.uk).
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.