This type of fuel duty has been operating for some time in the passenger transport industry,all Stage Carriage Services licensed with the traffic commissioners on service milage (not empty or otherwise) including positioning of vehicles prior to commencement of journeys and recovering to operating garage, can and do claim a fuel tax rebate, as long as they can show if required to IR logs of mileage operated. This is why all stage carriage vehicles are fitted with a mechanical hub meter for mileage recording, the speedo is not deemed to be accurate enough!
As an ex trucker I can tell you it is a total pain in the donkey/horse cross. Transit Switzerland for instance, must be under a given max weight, must be out through customs before 12 noon on Saturdays or stuck in the country till Monday am. Can't drive in France on a Sunday unless you're driving a fridge or heading home to catch a ferry. Austria can't run after midnight on Saturday or before 10pm on Sunday, and in the summer that's extended to include Friday too. Can't run on public holidays, like Ascension Day Bastille day etc etc etc.
Road tax was about £3000 a year even though I spent only about 2 months a year driving on UK roads, fuel in France last week just under €1 per litre fuel here over 90p a litre. Foreign lorries which come to this country face no such restrictions or such high operating costs, is it any wonder we are losing all our haulage work to foreign companies.
I thought the hub meter was down to the tyre contract companies as they lease the tyres to the bus company based on mileage??
The stage carriage distances can be calculated easily as every service covers an identical distance every day? Stage carriage drivers don't record distances at all. The only time a driver is required to record the reading is when completing a tachograph for private hire work or signing the bus out of the depot in the morning.
The companies I drove for the bus left the depot in the morning with a running board which dictated where the bus would be roughly every 6 minutes of the day, right through until it returned to the depot at night. Every route has to be registered with the traffic commisioners and operated properly to qualify for the fuel rebate. A few companies have had their rebate withheld due to failing to provide an adequate service.
The ticket machine has a module in it which records the tickets and progress of the bus throughout the day. Everytime the bus passes a set point the driver presses the stage button to record the progress of the bus. These records are downloaded onto a computer system at the end of the day and used to analyse the money due as well as the correct movements of the vehicle.
I got hauled into the office one day as I had covered a service I had never been trained for and did not know the correct fare stages. According to the computer I travelled 12 miles in 35 seconds I explained I did not know the route and the fare stages. But they had a nice print out of all the key strokes and times from my ticket machine.
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