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Freight transport belongs on the rails

Traffic jams, air pollution and noise: trucks produce many negative effects, especially in the Alpine region.

EU transport ministers want to reach an agreement on the new Eurovignette Directive for transit traffic by the end of September 2020. CIPRA International and the "iMonitraf!" network are therefore calling for rapid agreement to ease the burden on humans and nature.

The new Ceneri Base Tunnel in Ticino/CH will speed up passenger and freight transport by rail from September 2020 on. European transport ministers will meet on-site for the opening for talks – which will probably also cover the new Eurovignette Directive for freight transport. The ambitious proposed revision to the infrastructure costs directive, adopted by the European Parliament in October 2018, is to be brought to a conclusion under the German presidency of the EU Council. However, Andreas Scheuer, the German minister for transport, has proposed an exemption from all tolls for so-called zero-emission vehicles. The EU ministers of transport may agree to this at their Council meeting, to be held on 28 September 2020.

Even though the CO2 differentiation in toll charges will also contribute to reaching the objectives of the European “Green Deal”, this should not negate the main goal of shifting traffic from road to rail, as Kaspar Schuler, co-director of CIPRA emphasises: “Even if average vehicle emissions continue to fall thanks to new engines, the toll must be designed in accordance with the polluter-pays principle. Noise, congestion and increased infrastructure costs are also caused by low-emission trucks and they must be charged accordingly. Only with substantial charges for all trucks will there be an effective shift from road to rail”. Inclusion of true costs, an increase in the mountain factor in the Eurovignette Directive and no full exemption for “emission-free” heavy goods traffic from the toll: a joint position paper by CIPRA and the "iMonitraf!" network sums up their central demands to the transport ministers.

 

Sources and further information:

www.cipra.org/de/positionen/eurovignetten-wegekosten-richtlinie-zeit-zum-handeln-1 (de),  www.cipra.org/en/topics/alpine-politics/focus-transit, www.admin.ch/gov/de/start/dokumentation/medienmitteilungen.msg-id-76210.html (de),
www.cipra.org/en/media-releases/freight-transport-belongs-on-the-rails