Implications for the United States
Edited by Harry W. Richardson and Chang-Hee Christine Bae
Chapter 12: Inter-Urban Road Goods Vehicle Pricing in Europe
Chris Nash, Batool Menaz and Bryan Matthews* 1 INTRODUCTION The European Commission has long been concerned that distortions in charges for transport infrastructure use could distort competition between road hauliers based in diﬀerent countries and more broadly between the economies of countries as a whole. Following on from the Green Paper of 1995 (CEC, 1995), the European Commission has sought to achieve a closer relationship between transport prices and the marginal social cost of transport. Because of its importance in European economics, heavy goods vehicle (HGV) charges have formed a central part of this policy (CEC, 2001) while charging for the private car is left as a matter for the member states. It is widely recognised that existing charges do not adequately reﬂect these costs. Annual licence fees may vary with the characteristics of the vehicle but not with where and when it is used, while the relationship between fuel tax and vehicle use is driven by technological rather than economic factors. The Eurovignette, which came into force in some European countries in the 1990s, is a time-based user charge, while the tolls which exist on motorways in some countries are usually more concerned with raising ﬁnance than with reﬂecting costs. A distance-based user charge is generally seen as a better solution to the problem of reﬂecting the costs, and a number of countries have now introduced such a system. Section 2 looks at the new Eurovignette directive which was agreed late in 2005. Section 3...
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