EU says Czech tolls ‘discriminate’
The Commission has told the Czech Republic its system of motorway tolls is illegal because it discriminates against non-Czechs.
Brussels says the one-year vignettes for Czech hauliers cost 14 000 crowns (€460), which equates to 38 a day, or 58 based on five days a week for 48 weeks. By contrast the daily vignettes that transit vehicles buy cost 250 (€8.21). Not only is this more than the EU’s maximum approved daily toll rate of €8, but the ratio between one-day and one-year stickers must be proportional under EU rules.
The Czechs’ problem is that a daily toll of 38 or 58 crowns would not deter western European hauliers, but an annual toll of 60 000 (240 days at 250 crowns) would put most Czech hauliers out of business, according to the Czech haulier association Cesmad Bohemia.
The Czech Republic has seen traffic on the nation’s roads increase nearly 50% in the past year, largely because of joining the EU but also because the German and Austrian toll systems make Czech roads relatively cheap. An increase of another 20% is expected this year.
This news story is taken from the May 2005 edition of T&E Bulletin.