What is it all about? Why do we need a toll system for lorries on our motorways? Heavy duty lorries cause enormous costs for the construction, maintenance and operation of motorways. The wear and tear on roads imposed by a heavy duty lorry with 40 tonnes of axle weight is about 60'000 times as high as that caused by a passenger car. Therefore it is the objective of the Federal Government to bring about a greater involvement of lorries into the financing of infrastructure measures by means of a use-related charge based on the polluter-pays principle. Up to now, financing was completely covered by taxes and only to a very limited degree by the so-called Eurovignette. Now,for the first time, there shoul be established a system based of financing on the actual use, which is related on distance driven charge, the so called LKW MAUT.
The lorry charge system will lead to a more equitable competitive situation for the different means of transport.
Rail and inland shipping will receive a chance to displace freight transport from roads and transfer them to tracks and inland waterways. The charge will be graded according to axle weight and waste gas emissions and thus it also fulfils the environmental policy objectives of the Federal Government as it is a stimulus to have reduced-emission lorries on the road.
Until now, road transport of goods was only involved in covering the infrastructure costs it incurs to a very limited extent and its external costs (i.e. environmental costs and costs incurred by accidents) were not covered at all. This means that the costs for freight transport on roads do not reflect the real costs. They have to be paid by society. The low transport costs then make it possible, due to small price differences, to...