Statement on the truck toll by Dr. Kay Lindemann, Managing Director of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA)
The German Bundestag has passed the Third Act Amending the Federal Trunk Road Toll Act. Dr. Kay Lindemann, Managing Director of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) commented as follows:
“The extension of the truck toll represents a considerable burden for the German transport companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, and the craft trades. Despite the reduction in toll rates at the beginning of the year, the measures will increase the burdens on road freight traffic to the tune of several 100 million euros during this parliament. With the expansion of the truck toll to all national roads planned for 2018, the next round of extra costs is already on the agenda. This means road freight will face new financial burdens running into billions both in this parliamentary session and the next.
“The draft bill also foresees that in the future there will be four axle categories instead of two. The fewer axles a vehicle has, the lower its toll fees. This regulation is at its most counterproductive when differentiating between commercial vehicles with four axles and those with five or more axles. This is because it creates incentives to deploy vehicles with as few axles as possible. That will push up the axle load precisely in the case of heavy trucks, and the impact and wear on the roads will increase. The new law could therefore result in our trunk roads wearing out even more quickly. The incentives would also lead to vehicle fleets dropping in value.
“Therefore it is welcome that in a resolution, the Bundestag members are in favor at least of an early revision of the axle classification system and call on the German Government to deliver regular reports on the effects of the new rates.”