Infrastructure charging in land transport – Outcomes of the debate

4 October 2017 | Brussels, Belgium

At the end of May 2017, the European Commission published a proposal for revising the « Eurovignette Directive » on road charging, as a contribution to the decarbonisation of Europe’s transport system.  Road pricing can be an incentive for a cleaner and more efficient road transport.

The proposal is based on two major principles, i.e. ‘user pays’ and ‘polluter pays’. It also includes the phasing out of time-based vignettes to distance-based charging, and the extension of the scope to vehicles other than HGVs (such as buses, coaches, vans and passenger cars).

To discuss this proposal, ERF co-organised, in cooperation with ASECAP and CER, an event on infrastructure charging in land transport. The event , which took place on 27 September, was attended by representatives from the European Institutions and other stakeholders.

ERF Director General, Christophe Nicodème,  had the opportunity to underline ERF’s overall positive reception to the proposal, in particular the shift to distance-based road charging and the extension to all vehicles.  Nevertheless, the need for earmarking the revenues generated by this system was underlined, in order to support road maintenance and adaptation of the road networks to cleaner and more efficient mobility, in particular at regional level.

He also expressed the ERF concern about a possible transfer of traffic to ‘non-tolled’ networks, which could create more safety risks and congestion, and consequently, reduce mobility and increase emissions on a network which already suffers from a longstanding backlog of maintenance and preservation.