Dutch MPs want to look into road toll delay

8th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

MPs belonging to the ruling parties and Green Left party are calling for a debate in parliament on the delay in the proposed pay-as-you-drive system.

THE HAGUE – Dutch ruling parties and Green Left party have called for a debate in parliament on the road-use toll following Transport Minister Camiel Eurlings' decision to postpone the introduction of the road-use charge.

The road-use toll which was to be implemented for trucks in 2011, with cars expected to follow a year later, has been postponed till 2014. In an announcement on Monday, Eurlings said the scheme will not be introduced before 2014 for trucks and 2015 for private vehicles.

Between now and 2018 the government is set to spend EUR 2.4 billion on preparations for the introduction of the scheme.

The reason given for the delay was the high risks attached to the complex project and that it would be irresponsible for the introduction of the system in 2011.

Under the proposed pay-as-you-drive system, motorists would no longer pay road tax or car purchase tax, but a satellite system would register where and when vehicles are driven.

The debate for Eurlings to account for his decision was initiated by the Green Left party and supported by MPs in the ruling parties, reports ANP.

The coalition partners - Eurlings' own Christian Democrats, the  Labour Party and the Christian Union - have all expressed concerned about the minister's announcement that the 2011 target will not be reached.

The Labour Party and Christian Union are unhappy with the delay and want to investigate ways to speed up its introduction, while the Christian Democratic CDA is adamantly opposed to scrapping the scheme. The CDA said it will benefit the environment and reduce traffic jams.

Calling for the scheme to be scrapped are the three largest opposition parties – the conservative VVD, rightwing Freedom Party and the Socialist Party who had vehemently opposed the road-use charge.

Socialist Party MP Emile Roemer, conservative VVD MP Charlie Aptroot and Freedom Party MP Barry Madlener agreed that "It's better to cancel than to postpone".

"Eurlings himself has lost faith in the project. If introduction is not a given, he should stop investing money by the bucket load," said Madlener.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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