Dispute over expansion of truck tolls

Dispute over expansion of truck tolls

"We have to be careful not to go overboard," federal transport minister peter ramsauer (CSU) told the "bild" newspaper ahead of a conference of transport ministers on wednesday. "If, for example, we also include small trucks of 3.5 tons in the toll system, we would hit many craft enterprises."The german city council demanded that the toll for trucks of more than twelve tons, which is applicable on freeways and some major federal roads, be extended to all roads. CSU demand for a toll on foreign cars also remains controversial.

"People and goods must continue to get from A to B in the future – and not just on federal highways, but on all traffic routes," said city council president ulrich maly (SPD). The transport ministers of the federal states will meet in berlin on wednesday to discuss new sources of funding and more reliable financing. This should also be a signal for the coalition negotiations in the federal government.

A commission headed by former federal transport minister kurt bodewig (SPD) recommends a phased plan for this. The aim is to close a funding gap of 7.2 billion euros a year for roads, railways and waterways by 2019. A rehabilitation fund is proposed from additional federal funds, which will be fed with a total of 38.5 billion euros over 15 years. In addition, an expansion of the truck toll to all federal highways could result in 2.3 billion euros more going into rehabilitation, bodewig explained in the "ruhr nachrichten" (wednesday). Commission also mentions tolls for trucks under twelve tons as an option.

The central association of german trades warned against a toll for lighter commercial vehicles that would burden small and medium-sized businesses. The german association of the automotive industry (VDA) demanded that, in view of high tax revenues, politicians should find the strength to make additional funds available without extending the tolls. There is also no reason for a long-distance bus toll.

Bodewig defended an extension of tolls for trucks that put more strain on roads. "The pressure load of a 40-ton truck is 60,000 times higher than that of a medium-sized passenger car," he said on deutschlandfunk radio. The chairman of the state transport ministers, reinhard meyer (SPD) from schleswig-holstein, said on deutschlandradio kultur that in order to accept an expansion of the truck toll, it must be used entirely for better infrastructure. He sees no majority in the states for the introduction of a toll on passenger cars. Ramsauer reiterated that a toll on cars for foreigners was "a central position of the CSU" in the upcoming coalition negotiations as well.

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