EUPAVE responds to EU consultation on “Eurovignette” directive on road charging

The European Commission recently closed its consultation on Directive 1999/62/EC ("Eurovignette"), on the charging of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) for the use of certain roads. The Directive aims to harmonise vehicle charging and provide for the way infrastructure charges should be set, including differentiation according to environmental performance. (The Directive does not oblige Member States to introduce charges.)

In its response to the consultation, EUPAVE gave its view on how tolls should be set and how revenues should be used for investment in durable, sustainable road infrastructure.

With regard to differentiation according to environmental performance, EUPAVE highlighted the positive influence that upgrading pavements has on CO2 emissions from vehicles, especially heavy vehicles. Studies have even shown that rigid concrete pavements can reduce CO2 emissions from HGVs, on top of other benefits in terms of durability and reduced maintenance.

Road charging should take into account the use of durable solutions to mitigate the wear caused by HGVs, such as dedicated heavy-vehicle lanes with a concrete inlay. Finally, EUPAVE emphasises that investments based on road charging revenues should be done on a life-cycle costing basis, to ensure high quality pavements with high durability.