|On Friday, Transport Minister Camiel Eurlings announced the introduction of a road-use charge. “We’ve finally made our decision,” he said. The charge will be based on the distance driven and will be accompanied by lower fixed charges for road users.
The minister says the charge is the answer to the problem of traffic jams in the Netherlands. Lorries will start paying per kilometre in 2011, with cars following a year later.
The latest satellite technology will register the distance driven. Mr Eurlings hopes the system will be up and running throughout the Netherlands by 2016.
Under the new system, motorists will no longer pay road tax or BMP tax on new cars. Mr Eurlings says it will be a fairer system, taxing vehicle use rather than ownership. He claims more than half of road users will pay less under the new system.
However, most responses have up to now been reasonably positive. Road users’ and employers’ organisations have voiced satisfaction. Even Amsterdam Council, which wanted to introduce a toll system round the city, says it can live with the proposed system. The capital is planning to start trials in 2011 on its own system to encourage motorists to avoid the rush hour.