The German Cabinet has passed the third law amending the German Toll Act.
The German Cabinet has passed the third law amending the German Toll Act. Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) issued the following comment:
“Extending the toll to apply to more multi-lane national roads, and the inclusion of trucks from 7.5 t upwards will have the most impact on German haulage companies, in particular the SMEs. German trucks already account for 85 per cent of the total distance travelled on four-lane national roads with tolls. Politicians should keep this in mind and avoid turning the screw too far. The expected revenues will be higher than the shortfall that will initially arise when the toll charges are reduced at the beginning of 2015. Extending the truck toll will therefore genuinely increase the burden on the transport industry and on the economy in general.
The weight threshold of 7.5 t should apply only to vehicles and not, as now planned, also to vehicle combinations, because otherwise vehicles with a lower total weight will be subject to toll charges as soon as they are combined with a trailer that pushes them over the 7.5 t limit. That would create considerable bureaucracy for businesses that use a trailer only occasionally. More additional vehicle segments would also be included, e.g. in the field of skilled crafts. These kinds of burdens should be avoided.
In the future there are to be four axle classes instead of two. The fewer axles a vehicle has, the lower the toll charges that apply. This regulation is counterproductive because it creates an incentive to deploy vehicles with the lowest possible number of axles. However, this will subject the roads to more wear than is necessary, because distributing the total weight over many axles reduces the damage to the roads. The logic of ‘fewer axles equals lower road costs’ does not add up.”