17 February 2022, the EU adopted new rules on road charging. The new system will improve incentives for more efficient and sustainable road transport. It will phase out time-based vignettes for heavy-duty vehicles on the core Trans-European Network by 2030, in favour of distance-based. It will also introduce EU-wide rules to vary charges for heavy-duty vehicles based on their CO2 emissions. Moreover, after a 4-year transition period, external cost charging for air pollution will become mandatory for heavy-duty vehicles, except where it would create unintended traffic diversion.
Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: “The new directive is a step towards a modern EU road pricing system, serving to finance and maintain good quality infrastructure while reflecting “the polluter pays principle” better. Road charging is an element in our strategy to reduce emissions from transport. The new rules call for differentiated infrastructure and user charges based on CO2 and introduce a mandatory external cost charge for heavy-duty vehicles to get consumers, operators, and manufacturers to shift towards cleaner options. It will also help mitigate other impacts of road transport that are costly to society, such as congestion.”
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