EU countries have finally been given clearance to charge road hauliers for the air pollution and noise costs caused by lorries. But they will not be allowed to charge for the costs of congestion, accidents and climate changing gases. In a further weakening of the proposed directive, governments can exempt lorries under 12 tonnes from charges.
Proposal on how to improve the Energy Tax Directive by Green Budget Europe, the European Environmental Bureau and Transport & Environment
The EU has reached an agreement on revised road charging rules for lorries (the Eurovignette directive) that would open the door for Member States to charge for air and noise pollution in road tolls but introduces a loophole for lorries under twelve tonnes. The deal was finalised last night in 'trialogue' discussions between the European Commission, Council and Parliament.
By Jos Dings
We always felt the economic crisis, with its associated scarcity of public money, could bring about more than just misery. We thought it could be the trigger for positive reforms towards more sustainable transport. And there are now signs that things are slowly starting to move in this direction.
This briefing aims to provide a short overview of the history and present status of EU energy tax policy, and summarises the Commission's proposal for a revised Energy Tax Directive (ETD), launched in April 2011.
The Commission has proposed ending the right of member states to exempt lorries from paying for infrastructure costs. The suggestion, which came as part of the white paper on transport planning for 2050, could impact on negotiations on the Eurovignette, as it would effectively make the Eurovignette directive obligatory.
The European Parliament's Transport committee reached an agreement on revised road charging rules for lorries (the Eurovignette directive) that
would open the door for Member States to charge for air and noise pollution in road tolls.
Opinion by Jos Dings - T&E Director
Did we miss something? Last year, the European Commission didn’t propose a single new legislative measure to clean up transport. To be fair, it has been spending most of its time worrying about the future of the Eurozone. As a result, for T&E this was the sort of year where seeds for smarter transport policy were sown. We’re optimistic that next year could bring a decent crop of positive changes.
Poland is set to join the club of EU member states that have introduced a distance-based charge for lorries. An electronic charge applicable to all vehicles above 3.5 tonnes (including buses) using national roads is due to come into effect on 1 July 2011, but the price per kilometre has not yet been agreed.