January 29, 2015
A Senior European politician has caused outrage by calling for computers to be fitted in all European cars as part of an EU wide road pricing system.
Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said the current system which is decided by national parliaments was “a burden on car drivers and an obstacle to their mobility” she told German newspaper ‘World on Sunday’.
Ahead of a visit to Berlin, Bulc said it would make sense, in the medium term, to work on a European-wide system for cars and lorries which would harmonise road charges across EU countries. Her proposal, she said, was that “the amount of the fee should, in my opinion, be exclusively based on the number of kilometres actually driven and should not be time-dependent.” This fits in with the Green agenda of making people drive more slowly and even limiting the speed cars are allowed to reach to keep the engine fuel efficient.
Germany plans to introduce a controversial road toll in 2016 which would specifically target foreign drivers using the Autobahn’s. While German drivers would also pay the toll, they would be compensated with a reduction in any existing motoring taxes. This is similar to a proposal put forward by UKIP where foreign drivers, specifically lorries, would pay a surcharge for using Britain’s roads since they don’t contribute towards their upkeep.
However, such plans are contrary to EU laws on non discrimination on grounds of race, and the German government is embroiled in a dispute with Brussels about whether their plan is compatible with EU law.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from – everyone will only pay for the distance they have actually driven and it will be billed on a device throughout Europe. We’re currently investigating just such an idea” Bulc added.
This article was posted: Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 9:42 am