German Bundestag passes legislation for HGV tolls on four-lane federal highways
Scheuer: Transport infrastructure funding is strengthened
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The German Bundestag today passed the Act for the Reorganization of Toll Legislation for Federal Trunk Roads.
The Act provides for the extension of the HGV tolling scheme to include federal highways with at least four lanes and motorway access for which the Federal Government is the construction and maintenance agency. In his speech, the Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, Andreas Scheuer, said:
"By extending the HGV tolling scheme to include federal highways with at least four lanes and starting a funding cycle for our roads, we are strengthening transport infrastructure funding. Both the Federal Government and the federal states, and, in particular, the road users will benefit from this."
The following criteria have been laid down as conditions for the tolling of federal highways: The Federal Government has to be the construction and maintenance agency responsible for the roads, and the roads have to be at least four lanes wide, with two lanes for each carriageway. They must provide direct access to a federal motorway and have to be at least four kilometres in length. Furthermore, a continuous structural separation of both carriageways (central reservation) is required. There will be no tolling in built-up areas.
This definition also reflects the wishes of the federal states, which fear traffic diverting to avoid paying tolls. The Federal Ministry of Transport will, however, monitor the traffic development very attentively from the beginning and – as was also the case with two earlier studies – report to the German Bundestag.
"Our federal highways have, in many cases, reached a level of development similar to that of our federal motorways. Therefore, it is only logical to take this step now. In doing so, we are merely extending the tolled road network. All other factors, such as the toll rates and the restriction of the tolling scheme to HGV with a weight of 12 tons or more, will remain unchanged. Accordingly, there will be no toll increase!"
The basis for the tolling of federal highways with four or more lanes will be established by July 2011, following the second passage in the Bundesrat and the publication in the Federal Law Gazette.