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Germany looks to impose EU-wide toll roads

Touring in Europe might get a lot more expensive if a German plan to introduce EU-wide toll-roads is approved

THE German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer wants to pave the way for an EU-wide network of toll roads charging all vehicles apart from coaches and buses.

The document, seen by Rueters, states that within eight years, all vehicles on motorways (except for coaches and buses) including lorries, vans and cars, (and we assume motorcycles) would have to pay tolls, according to the draft for the EU toll directive.

“As regards member states that have already established a charging system, tolls or user charges shall be levied upon all vehicles except coaches and buses,” stated the document which Scheuer wants German ministries to approve on Wednesday.

That would make it Germany’s official proposal for its presidency of the bloc which started on July 1 and runs until the end of the year.

The move isn’t guaranteed though, as some German ministries are against the idea, especially those linked to Social Democrats (SPD) (who share power with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives), who have been against the Europe-wide toll scheme for some time.

As it stands many EU countries use toll roads, although there are still some major routes, motorways, and trunk roads across Europe that currently do not charge. The idea is that introducing a toll could help reduce the volume of cars on the road, and in some cases, the money could contribute to carbon offset programs. As yet there is no official mention as to bikes paying the toll, although as the draft refers to ‘all vehicles’ except for coaches and buses, we’d have to assume it does apply. There is also no mention as to whether electric vehicles are immune from the charges.

Should the ruling come into force as intended, touring down to the Mediterranean and avoiding the tolls could become much more difficult and expensive.

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