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Trucks will be charged dearly

In Baden-Württemberg, a truck toll is soon to be introduced for rural and municipal roads in order to be able to finance road maintenance. In the Netherlands, the toll has just been postponed again. Its profits should largely be invested in the sustainability of freight transport.

The Greens in Baden-Württemberg want to make truck drivers or their companies pay more. Currently, there is only a truck toll on motorways and four-lane federal roads. They now want to establish a toll for the use of state and district roads as well. The reason is the enormous damage that trucks over 7.5 tonnes cause on the roads. The costs would have to be borne by the companies. The toll would bring in up to 200 million euros for the state coffers. In addition, according to the Greens, it would put a stop to online trade and strengthen local trade.

The CDU, a potential coalition partner of the Greens in Baden-Württemberg, rigorously rejects the proposal. They see the toll as an additional burden for businesses in the region. This would put them at a disadvantage in national comparison.

In the Netherlands, too, there is a dispute about setting a toll. Already 10 years ago, in 2011, a kilometre-based truck toll was initiated there. So far it has been postponed again and again. After it was actually planned until 2024, the Minister of Transport, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, has now announced that the toll will come in 2027 at the earliest.

Elisabeth Post, president of the Dutch Transport and Logistics Association (TLN), is disappointed. The profits from the toll were also earmarked to make the logistics sector more sustainable and environmentally friendly. The lack of revenue will now set back development in the sector.

It is not clear whether the Greens also want to reinvest part of the revenue from the tolls in the industry, or just repair the roads. Certainly, reinvesting in a greener logistics industry would make sense and make companies more positive about the toll.

Nevertheless, the burden on the industry remains heavy. In addition to the purchase of environmental stickers and the ever stricter rules in the environmental zones, companies have to dig deeper and deeper into their pockets because of the tolls. It is therefore all the more annoying that the industry is not getting the support for green technologies that it had hoped for. MAN, Volvo, and Co. had only recently set themselves more ambitious goals than the EU is setting them. With the EU's plans for the logistics sector, the climate target could not be met.

So, as usual, politics demands a lot, but offers little support. The implementation and also the costs are left to the companies.