New Dutch government goes for road pricing… in 2030
After nine months of formation and debate, the new to form Dutch government (still to be accepted in the Parliament) has presented its major guidelines. One of them is the introduction of a kind of road pricing, taxing the use of the car, not its possession. The system is to be fully operational in… 2030.
According to the (new to form) cabinet, the new system aims at bringing down CO2 emissions of traffic or transport in general. However, it doesn’t mean automatically that only the polluter pays. Electric car drivers will have to pay for road use as well.
The new government will start implementing the new system during the coming legislative period by making car taxes dependant on the annual amount of kilometers driven. By 2030, the plan will be fully operational and replace the current and complicated tax system.
The government aims at keeping the new system as simple as possible. Car taxing in 2030 will depend entirely on the number of kilometers one has driven during the year. The system will also count for electric cars, as the government has emitted the aim that all new cars in the Netherlands should be electric by 2030.
The taxes won’t be linked to the time and the place when and where the kilometers are driven to keep things simple and affordable (for the state). Existing toll roads (especially tunnels) will become free of charge once the system is implemented.
Positive first reactions
The Dutch sector organization, BOVAG, and mobility club, ANWB, both react positively to the plan. “It’s good and also necessary,” says Bovag-president Han ten Broeke. “The current taxation system for cars is untenable, unfair, and a serious hindrance for the greening of car use.”
Bovag is already pleading a long time for a tax system where the use of the car is taxed. Of course, the new taxing has to replace the current taxing on possession and not be added to it. Bovag pleads for a tariff per kilometer based on the environmental qualities of the vehicle.
For mobility club ANWB, the fairness of the system is paramount. “The new system can’t make car driving more expensive than now,” declares ANWB. “It has to be simple and reliable and has to take into account what the car user cares for and expects.” According to ANWB, most of its members support the idea.
Good for CO2, what about congestion?
The advantage of the system is that it is simple and not very costly concerning infrastructure. The major drawback is that this type of road pricing has less influence on road use at peak moments. If the time and the place where the mileage is done are not considered, the impact on traffic flows is far less critical.
It’s clear that accompanying measures regarding traffic flow will have to be taken. By not considering when and where the car is used, the legislator omits what is regarded as a powerful tool in fighting traffic congestion.