|GP: Charging trucks for road use, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia|
Charging trucks for road use, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia
Since the late 2000s, various countries in Central and Eastern Europe have been introducing distance-based charging systems for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and buses. Rates are calculated on a per kilometre basis, which is considered to be an appropriate way of improving the efficiency of HGV use. The charges usually vary by type of road – e.g. whether the road that a vehicle is using is a motorway or other national road – and by emissions category of the vehicle, i.e. which Euro emissions class a vehicle complies with, and sometimes by time of day.
The Polish system – called viaToll – operates on selected motorways, expressways and other national roads linking most of the country’s major cities. The charges vary by the weight of a truck – those weighing less than 12 tonnes (but more than 3.5 tonnes) pay less per kilometre than those weighing – as well as being differentiated by Euro standard, with trucks meeting either Euro V or Euro VI standards paying less. In this way, the use of less polluting vehicles can be encouraged.
Similarly in the Czech Republic, the heavy duty vehicle road user charging system covers motorways and main roads linking the country’s main cities. The rates also differ by the Euro class of the vehicle, but the charge has an additional variation, i.e. vehicles using the network between 15.00 and 20.00 on Fridays face a higher charge than if they used the network at other times of the day. The Slovak system similarly has charges that vary by road type and emissions class, but for HGVs over 12 tonnes charges also differ by the number of axles that a vehicle has, as this is often considered to be linked to the amount of damage that a vehicle can cause to the road. HGVs travelling on motorways and main roads in Hungary also face differentiated charges according to the number of axles and emissions category.
Sources (all accessed 7 October 2014):