§ Mr. Leadbitter
asked the Minister of Transport whether she has any statement to make yet on the abnormal indivisible loads charge in so far as it bears on development areas.
§ Mrs. Castle
As I promised during the debate on the Second Reading of the Transport Bill, I did consider further the impact of this charge on development areas. But as announced yesterday by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I have decided not to proceed with this charge.
The case for the abnormal loads charge on transport grounds remains valid. This 94W section of the road haulage industry is not meeting the true costs it imposes, and is in effect being subsidised by the community. But when the increased excise and fuel duties announced in the Budget Statement were under consideration I represented to my right hon. Friend, and he agreed, that it would not be right to go ahead with this additional charge as together they would have imposed an intolerable burden on the road haulage industry.