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Commissioner calls for standardised road pricing in member states


Commissioner calls for standardised road pricing in member states

Violeta Bulc


European Union Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc called for the introduction of a standardised European-wide road pricing system in comments she made to a German Sunday newspaper.

Bulc said there were many different systems in Europe at the moment and this was a burden on car drivers and an obstacle to their mobility.

Germany plans to introduce a controversial road toll in 2016 aimed at foreign drivers using Germany’s Autobahn motorways. German drivers would also pay the toll, but would be compensated with a reduction in existing automobile taxes. The government and the EU are embroiled in a dispute about whether this is compatible with EU law.

Ahead of a planned visit to Berlin this week, Bulc told Welt am Sonntag it would make sense, in the medium term, to work on a European system for lorries and cars that could regulate road charges in a uniform manner for all EU countries.

>>Read: EU’s transport infrastructure to be upgraded

“The amount of the fee should, in my opinion, be exclusively based on the number of kilometres actually driven and should not be time-dependent,” she was quoted as saying.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from – everyone will only pay for the distance they have actually driven and it will be billed on a device throughout Europe. We’re currently investigating just such an idea.”

>>Read: Germany’s new road toll to cost foreign drivers up to 130 euros

Bulc did not say whether all EU states would be required to introduce a car toll related to distance travelled.

“There are many options – a fee could be obligatory but it’s also possible to make it optional i.e. that countries decide themselves whether and on which roads they want to levy a road use charge based on kilometres driven.”

>>Read: Transport expert: EU-wide road toll is quick-fire solution