UPDATE 1-Germany to delay truck road toll scheme-sources


(Adds background, details)

BERLIN, July 29 (Reuters) - Germany plans to put back the launch of a new truck road toll system by two months from the end of August until November 1 amid doubts about a smooth start to the scheme, sources close to the project said on Tuesday.

The sources said the delay to the toll would cost the German government around 320 million euros ($368 million) in lost revenues.

The delay comes amid increasing reports of technical problems with the satellite-based tracking equipment used in the planned toll system and follows a decision by the European Union last week to launch a probe into the scheme.

The EU, which is concerned the system will place local firms at an unfair advantage over foreign rivals travelling through Germany, is investigating government plans to compensate German truckers for the extra costs of the new tolls.

A consortium led by DaimlerChrysler and Deutsche Telekom has developed the toll collection system which will apply to trucks weighing more than 12 tonnes.

A spokesman for the Toll Collect consortium said the companies stood by their commitment to supply 150,000 onboard computers by the end of August.

No comment was immediately available from the Transport Ministry, which has previously said it expected the plan to go ahead from August 31.

The government estimates that the toll, set at 12.4 cents per kilometre, should yield about 2.8 billion euros ($3.22 billion) per year.

The toll is due to rise to 15 cents later, with current plans foreseeing the country's truckers receiving 600 million euros in government subsidies.

However, this compensation idea has run into opposition from the European Commission which says German firms would be given an unfair advantage.

The Commission, which plans a Europe-wide road toll scheme to be used to help fund rail infrastructure and cut congestion in environmentally sensitive areas, said last week its probe should suspend the launch of the entire road toll scheme.



Follow Us

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×