Fleet News

German fleets fear road tolls will affect business

CONCERNS have been raised that the introduction of a road toll system for cars in Germany would place extra administration on the country’s fleets rather than generate funds to be spent on improvements to the country’s road system.

The German automotive industry has rejected plans for the introduction of such a system which is feared under proposed plans to privatise the country’s motorway system.

It claims experiences from the country’s truck toll show that instead of raising extra revenue for roads such a scheme is simply an extra burden on businesses.

In a statement, the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) said: ‘There is no justification for requiring motorists to bear any additional costs.

‘This applies in particular to the argument that a secure source of funding is needed for the road network, because only e15 billion of the e50 billion paid annually by drivers in taxes and fees is currently used for roads while the rest goes to cover general budget expenditure.

‘High fuel prices took e3.5 billion in purchasing power away from motorists last year and have taken an additional e4.5 billion through September of this year.’

It adds: ‘The result of the truck toll clearly shows the system should not be expanded to include passenger cars. Instead of generating more road investment as promised, the truck toll represents an additional burden for businesses in Germany.

‘As a result, the public no longer trust politicians’ claims of toll-financed roads that do not create additional costs.’

The VDA points to a study produced by Professor Herbert Baum of the University of Cologne that suggests highway tolls would force cars onto secondary roads leading to an increase in the number of accidents. It adds: ‘In the interest of a sustainable and socially balanced financing of the road network, the study calls for a return to the specific appropriation of proceeds from the fuel tax, which should therefore no longer be used to help finance social security, the public transport system or general budget expenditures.’

The statement continued: ‘The study clearly shows that Germany does not need a passenger car toll.’

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