ESC says road tolls directive is losing direction
The European Shippers’ Council today condemned members of the European Parliament for failing to take sufficient account of the road transportation sector’s existing cost burden of fuel and vehicle taxation, during a second-reading recommendation on the plans for Europe-wide truck tolls.
The “Eurovignette Directive” proposes a harmonized European system for the calculation of tolls and road charging for heavy good vehicles.
The ESC said it “shares the view that the user needs to pay its share when making use of infrastructure,” but is worried that extra costs forced on the road transport sector will “have a negative influence on the competitiveness of the European economy.”
“Some MEPs seem to think that by making road transport more expensive, companies who are dependent on user-oriented, high quality and reliable transport networks will shift their goods to other modes of transport,” said Nicolette van der Jagt, secretary general of the ESC. “These MEPs are clearly underestimating the scale and scope of the challenges facing the non-road transport modes before they can meet the demands from industry.”
The ESC also raised concerns as to how revenue from the tolls would be used.
Once voted on by the European Parliament at Strasbourg in the Dec. 12-15 session, the proposal will go to the Council of Ministers, where Member States will give their final view.