2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
The toll for trucks is to be staggered in the future in order to direct journeys in times of low traffic and away from traffic jams. The first federal highways are also subject to tolls.
By Wolfgang Bunse
Car and truck drivers had two years to get used to the truck toll bridges on German motorways. In 2007 - in the third year - the previously failure-free satellite-based charging system should show that it can do more than collect electronically at a uniform rate or identify toll evaders. Federal Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee (SPD) and the toll operator Toll Collect want to gradually stagger the truck toll according to location and time, i.e. regionally according to traffic volume. With this kind of traffic control one hopes for success in the fight against the everyday traffic jams.
Transport volume continues to grow
In rush hour traffic and on sections of the autobahn with high congestion, such as in the Rhine-Main area, on the Ruhr or on the Berliner Ring, the charge screw would then be turned so that some freight forwarders and suppliers would opt for cheaper transport times or alternative routes, so the idea. Because traffic relief is seen as a priority in politics. For example, the “Transport Forecasts 2015” working group of the Federal Ministry of Transport expects the transport volume in Germany to increase by 40 percent. Road freight transport is playing an increasingly important role here. According to experts, the railways, on the other hand, benefit from traditional ship freight, also in the course of improved hinterland connections from seaports, but can hardly stand up to road freight traffic.
However, the Federal Association of Goods Transport, Logistics and Waste Management (BGL) does not believe in the traffic-directing function of the truck toll. BGL managing director Karlheinz Schmidt sees little opportunity for hauliers to switch to other delivery times. «We have our production window during the day. We have to go if the shippers want it. " Everything else is unreal, says Schmitz. And: a third of freight traffic is already running at night. "There is nothing more to get."
More empty runs again
Schmidt also resolutely contradicts the statement by Transport Minister Tiefensee that the truck toll introduced in 2005 had already led to a significant reduction in the number of return trips without cargo. After a decline of nine percent to 1.36 billion transport kilometers in 2005, such “empty kilometers” in commercial long-distance traffic rose again by 10 percent in the first seven months of 2006. Milk transporters, tankers and other special vehicles can only be used on one side.
On January 1st, the motorway toll for large trucks (from 12 tons) will be extended to federal highways for the first time. However, only three sections are affected: in the Hamburg area on the B75 between the A253 and A7 autobahns, as well as on the B4 north of the A23 to Bad Bramstedt (Schleswig-Holstein) and in the south-west on the B9 between the German-French border and the driveway Kandel-Süd of the A65 in Rhineland-Palatinate. Other states and communities that want to protect their citizens from loud and excessive toll evasive traffic can block entire routes on federal or state roads.
Toll revenues are increasing
After a bumpy run-up, the truck toll, starting in 2005, was supposed to replenish the federal government's emergency funds. After 2.85 billion euros in the first year, the income this year amounts to a good three billion, according to Tiefensee. For 2007, 3.35 billion are planned. The fee, graduated according to weight and pollutant emissions, averages 12.4 cents per kilometer. The aim is to raise it to 15 cents. In this case, Tiefensee has the German transport companies on their toes to compensate for the additional expenditure of 600 million euros with a corresponding relief volume elsewhere, so that German companies in Germany would be more competitive compared to foreign ones. In addition to the announced vehicle tax reductions (150 million euros) and the promotion of environmentally friendly trucks (100 million), there is also a toll bonus procedure (350 million) required by the freight forwarding associations.
The BGL is now calling on the federal government to represent this issue with greater emphasis than before at the EU Commission. To "avoid multiple charges, companies that have paid mineral oil tax by refueling in Germany should receive a bonus of this amount on the (…) toll amounts to be paid," says a notification text for the EU agreed by the government and associations. If this approach cannot be carried out in Brussels, toll disgruntlement is the order of the day. As a precaution, BGL manager Schmidt warned the government against a «breach of word». (dpa)
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