Haulage firms to protest road tolls in Brussels on 18 June
Lorry drivers will take to the streets of the capital next Thursday in protest at Flanders’ new road use fees, which come into effect next year
The toll will apply on all major roads in Flanders starting in April next year, varying between €0.074 and €0.2 per kilometre depending on the type, weight and emissions level of the vehicle. The toll is expected to raise €310 million a year and, according to the government, ensure that the cost of maintaining the roads is met by those who use them the most.
“Transport companies will pass the cost on to customers; they see no other option,” said Isabelle De Maegt of transport federation Febetra. “And if that happens, even the most healthy companies will be bankrupt within a month. We are also asking for accompanying measures to ensure our competitive position, given the difficult conditions in which we have to operate.”
According to the tariffs announced in May by Flemish mobility minister Ben Weyts, the federations have calculated that a lorry averaging 80,000 kilometres a year on Flanders’ motorways will have to pay €10,240 a year in tolls, instead of the €1,250 it now costs for the eurovignet certificate covering Benelux, Denmark and Sweden. That certificate will still be required for the rest of those countries.
On 18 June, lorry drivers are expected to take their protest to the roads in Brussels. The protest is likely to take the form of a parade of lorries through the centre of the city, so some disruption to traffic can be expected.
Photo: A protest of by the truck driving industry in 2008 led to traffic jams in the capital
Traffic in Flanders
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time Antwerp drivers spend in gridlock per year in hours
traffic diversions in Flanders per year