Compromise on Eurovignette
Source: ITS International
The European Parliament has struck a compromise that will allow harmonisation of truck tolls levied on its roads. The bill aims to take account of the environmental and social impacts of heavy road freight. This Eurovignette directive was first tabled in 2003. Its objective is to introduce a user pays principle and aims to shift some freight from roads onto rail or waterways.
This controversial proposal has caused much debate. All European countries benefit heavily from road freight but some, like Austria, France and Germany, also suffer high congestion and pollution levels.
As of 2012, Eurovignette will apply to vehicles of 3.5tonnes or more. Member states are given flexibility on how to levy tolls or charges and these can now be raised on the entire road network, not just motorways, when they are part of the Trans-European Network. Toll revenue should be used for the maintenance of the road infrastructure concerned or to cross-finance the transport sector as a whole.