Road freight transport is the sub-sector with the fastest growing greenhouse gas emissions (together with aviation and shipping) and imposes a disproportionate burden on EU citizens and the economy in terms of congestion, accidents, noise and air pollution.
Whilst we applaud the efforts of the Belgian Presidency to broker an agreement, we fear that by shying away from vital points of the Commission proposal, the Council will render the revised Directive more symbolic than really effective.
Road pricing reduces the negative impacts of pollution, congestion and accidents, but also allows a shift of taxation away from positive societal inputs, such as labour and enterprise. The primary effect of distance-based lorry charging is to stimulate efficiency within the road freight sector, via improved load factors, reduced empty driving, route optimisation, avoidance of congested times, etc. Charging will stimulate a more efficient freight sector, better prepared for future challenges.
To ensure the revision allow truly effective results, both environmentally and economically, we highlight several points in our letter.