Expansion of German HGV toll to revitalise national road network

The expanded HGV toll will bring in essential income for the German transport ministry. But certain parties think that it does not go far enough. [HA0487-027/Flickr]

Federal Minister of Transport Alexander Dobrindt believes that the expansion of the HGV toll on 1 October will bring in revenues of over €300 million. An additional toll on light transport between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes has also been called for. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Dobrindt told Die Welt that the introduction of a toll on HGVs over 7.5 tonnes “will provide us with an additional €300 million per year to invest in our roads”.

Dobrindt wants to use the new stream of revenue from the expansion solely to finance new road projects and maintenance. “The additional revenue will be funnelled into modernising our road infrastructure,” the minister told Die Welt. This should secure German growth, prosperity and jobs. The toll revenue will be used to provide long-lasting investment.

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Until now, the toll has only applied to vehicles over 12 tonnes, but come 1 October, it will be expanded to cover HGVs over 7.5 tonnes as well. Gerd Landsberg, Director of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities, wants to go even further and has called for the toll to be expanded again. Landsberg told the Passauer Neue Presse on Saturday that, “For financial and environmental reasons, the inclusion of all HGVs between 3.5 and 7 tonnes is also necessary.”

He added that, “At the same time, providers of commercial goods delivery should be encouraged, through incentive programmes, to invest in climate friendly E-mobility.” This would dramatically reduce urban pollution. The implementation of Germany’s car toll, which would apply to vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes, has been suspended due to the concerns of the European Commission regarding discrimination and the ongoing infringement procedure against Germany.

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Landsberg spoke about an across the board HGV toll on all roadways in Germany, as well as the involvement of local authorities in enforcing it. “Without additional revenue from the toll, the much-needed sustainable redevelopment of our road network, with its potholes and crumbling bridges, will not go ahead,” Dobrindt added. In the municipal transport sector, there is “an investment backlog of €34 billion.” 

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