UK PRESIDENCY: EUROVIGNETTE2ND
READING DEAL WITH THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (11944/03)
Letter from the Chairman to Rt Hon Alistair
Darling MP, Secretary of State, Department for Transport
Thank you for your letter of 21 December 2005
(UK Presidency letter) which Sub Committee B considered at its
meeting on 30 January 2006.
Members were pleased to note that the UK Presidency
had brokered a deal on this document and were grateful to you
for keeping them informed of the progress made.We noted that the
text requires the Commission to develop a strategy for the stepwise
introduction for all modes of transport. Does this mean all modes
of transport? Precisely which modes of transport does this include?
You explained in your letter that for tolls and charges, other
than those in mountainous regions, Member States would retain
the freedom to determine how there venues are used. However, the
European Parliament's Amendment 46 states that these revenues
should "be used for the maintenance of the infrastructure
concerned and the transport sector as a whole." How can these
two points be reconciled? In Amendment 48 there is reference to
an Annex III which we have not seen. It wouldbe helpful to have
a copy of this please.
1 February 2006
Letter from Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP
to the Chairman
Thank you for your letter of 1 February.
The text agreed with the European Parliament
will require the Commission to develop a model for the assessment
of all external costs to serve as the basis for future calculations
of infrastructure charges. This model will have to be accompanied
by an impact assessment on the internalisation of external costs
for all modes of transport and a strategy for a stepwise implementation
of the model for all modes of transport. While we cannot prejudge
the work of the Commission, I think we might expect its proposals
to cover charging forthe use of road, rail, airport and port infrastructure.
The agreed text does, indeed, say that revenue
from charges should be used to benefit the transport sector and
optimise the entire transport system. However, the first sentence
of the Article in which this text appears reads "Member States
shall determine the use to be made of revenue from charges for
the use of road infrastructure." I am entirely satisfied
that the provisions of the new Directive would not fetter the
Government in deciding how any revenues it might receive from
road charging should be used.
I am enclosing, as requested, a copy of Annex
III to the new Directive (together with Annex IV which is referred
to in Annex III).
20 February 2006
ANNEX III: CORE PRINCIPLES FOR THE ALLOCATION
OF COSTS AND CALCULATION OF TOLLS
This Annex stipulates the core principles for
the calculation of weighted average tolls to reflect Article 7(9).
The obligation to relate tolls to costs shall be without prejudice
to the freedom of Member States to choose, in accordance with
Article 7a(1), not to recover the costs in full through toll revenue,
or to the freedom, in accordance with Article 7(10), to vary the
amounts of specific tolls away from the average.
The application of these principles shall be
fully consistent with other existing obligations under Community
law, in particular the requirement for concession contracts to
be awarded in accordance with Council Directive 2004/18/EC and
other Community instruments in the field of public procurement.
Where a Member State engages in negotiations
with one or more third parties with a view to establishing a concession
contract regarding the construction or operation of a part of
its infrastructure, or in view of this purpose engages in a similar
arrangement based on national legislation or an agreement entered
into by the government of a Member State, compliance with these
principles shall be judged on the basis of the outcome of these
Where a single tolling regime is
not to be applied to the whole TEN road network, a Member State
shall specify precisely the part or parts of the network which
are to be subject to a tolling regime as well as the system its
uses to classify vehicles for the purposes of toll variation.
Member States shall also specify whether they are extending the
scope of the vehicles covered by their tolling regime below the
Where a Member State chooses to adopt
different policies regarding cost recovery for different parts
of its network (as permitted under Article 7a(1)), each clearly
defined part of the network shall be subject to a separate calculation
of costs. A Member State may choose to split its network up into
a number of clearly defined parts so as to establish separate
concession arrangements or similar for each part.
2.1. Investment costs
Investment costs shall include the
costs of construction (including financing costs) and the costs
of developing the infrastructure plus, where appropriate, a return
on the capital investment or profit margin. Costs of land acquisition,
planning, design, supervision of construction contracts and project
management, and of archaeological and ground investigations, as
well as other relevant incidental costs, shall also be included.
The recovery of construction costs
shall be based on either the design lifetime of the infrastructure
or such other amortisation period (not being less than 20 years)
as may be considered appropriate for reasons of financing through
a concession contract or otherwise. The length of the amortisation
period may be a key variable in negotiations regarding the establishment
of concession contracts, particularly if the Member State concerned
wishes, as part of the contract, to set a ceiling regarding the
weighted average toll applicable.
Without prejudice to the calculation
of investment costs, the recovery of costs may:
be apportioned evenly over the
amortisation period or weighted to the early, middle or later
years, provided that such weighting is carried out in atransparent
provide for indexation of tolls
over the amortisation period.
All historic costs shall be based
on the amounts paid. Costs which are still to be incurred will
be based on reasonable cost forecasts.
Government investment may be assumed
to be financed borrowings. The rate ofinterest to be applied to
historical costs shall be the rates that applied to government
borrowings over that period.
Costs shall be apportioned to heavy
goods vehicles (HGVs) on an objective and transparent basis taking
account of the proportion of HGV traffic to be carried on the
network and the associated costs. The vehicle kilometres travelled
by HGVs may for this purpose be adjusted by objectively justified
"equivalence factors" such as those set out in point
Provision for estimated return on
capital or profit margin shall be reasonable in the light of market
conditions and may be varied for the purpose of providing performance
incentives for a contracted third party with regard to quality
of service requirements. Return on capital may be evaluated using
economic indicators such as IRR (internal rate of return on investment)
or WACC (weighted average cost of capital).
2.2. Annual maintenance costs and structural
These costs shall include both the
annual costs of maintaining the network and the periodic costs
relating to repair, reinforcement and resurfacing, with a view
to ensuring that the level of operational functionality of the
network is maintained over time.
Such costs shall be apportioned between
HGV and other traffic on the basis of actual and forecast shares
of vehicle kilometres and may be adjusted by objectively justified
equivalence factors such as those set out in point 4.
These costs shall include all costs incurred
by the infrastructure operator which are not covered under Section
2 and which relate to the implementation, operation and management
of the infrastructure and of the tolling system. They shall include
the costs of constructing, establishing
and maintaining toll booths and other payment systems;
the day to day costs of operating,
administering and enforcing the toll collection system;
administrative fees and charges relating
to concession contracts; and
management, administrative and service
costs relating to the operation of the infrastructure.
The costs may include a return on capital or
profit margin reflecting the degree of risk transferred.
Such costs shall be apportioned on a fair and
transparent basis between all vehicle classes that are subject
to the tolling system.
4. SHARE OF
The calculation of tolls shall be
based on actual or forecast HGV shares of vehicle kilometres adjusted,
if desired, by equivalence factors, to make due allowance for
the increased costs of constructing and repairing infrastructure
for use by goods vehicles.
The following table gives a set of
indicative equivalence factors. Where a Member State uses equivalence
factors with ratios differing from those in the table, they shall
be based on objectively justifiable criteria and shall be made
|Between 3,5t and 7,5t, Class 0||1
|> 7,5 t, Class I||1,96
|> 7,5 t, Class II||3,47
|> 7,5 t, Class III||5,72
Tolling regimes which are based on forecast traffic
levels shall provide for a correction mechanism whereby tolls
are adjusted periodically to correct any under or over-recovery
of costs due to forecasting errors.
ANNEX IV: INDICATIVE VEHICLE CLASS DETERMINATION
The vehicle classes are defined by the table below.
Vehicles are classed in subcategories 0, I, II and III according
to the damage they cause to the road surface, in ascending order
(Class III is thus the category causing most damage to road infrastructure).
The damage increases exponentially with the increase in axle weight.
All motor vehicles and vehicle combinations of a maximum
permissible laden weight below 7,5 tonnes belong to damage class
|Driving axles with air|
suspension or recognised equivalent
|Other driving axle suspension systems
|Number of axles and maximum permissible gross laden weight
|Number of axles and maximum permissible gross laden weight (in tonnes)
|Not less than||Less than
||Not less than
|Driving axles with air suspension or recognised as equivalent
||Other driving axle suspension systems
|Number of axles and maximum permissible gross laden weight (in tonnes)
||Number of axles and maximum permissible gross laden weight (in tonnes)
|Not less than||Less than
||Not less than
|2 + 1 axles ||
|2 + 2 axles ||
Letter from the Chairman to Rt Hon Alistair Darling
Thank you for your letter of 20 February 2006 in reply to
mine of 1 February which Sub-Committee B considered at its meeting
on 6 March 2006.
You answered the points that I raised in a helpful manner
for which I am grateful. We note that in your letter you mention
that, without prejudging the work of the Commission, "we
might expect its proposals to cover charging for the use of road,
rail, airport and port infrastructure." Could you clarify
whether "port infrastructure" in this case would include
8 March 2006
Letter from Rt Hon Douglas Alexander, Secretary of
State, Department for Transport to the Chairman
Thank you for your letter of 8 March 2006 to Alistair Darling
regarding infrastructure charging. In an earlier letter Alistair
Darling mentioned that, without prejudging the work of the Commission,
"we might expect its [the Commission's] proposals to cover
charging for the use of road, rail, airport and port infrastructure."
You asked whether "port infrastructure" would include
inland waterways. I had hoped to be able to give you a definitive
answer by now. We had expected the Commission to publish its mid-term
review of the 2001 EU Transport Policy White Paper in April and
had envisaged it might contain the necessary information. But
publication of the review has been delayed and we do not know
for sure whether inland waterways might be covered by any infrastructure
charging proposal the Commission might intend to bring forward.
I shall, of course, write to you again as soon as we have anything
definite to report.
19 May 2006
Correspondence with Ministers 45th Report of Session 2005-06,
HL Paper 243, p 224. Back
These provisions, together with the flexibility offered in the
way costs are recovered over time (see the third indent of point
2.1), give considerable margin to fix tolls at levels which are
acceptable to users and adapted to the specific transport policy
objectives of the Member State. Back
The application of equivalence factors by Member States may take
account of roadconstruction developed on a phased basis or using
a long life cycle approach. Back
See Annex IV for the determination of the vehicle class. Back
The vehicle classes correspond to axle weights of 5,5, 6,5, 7,5
and 8,5 tonnes respectively.". Back
Suspension recognised as equivalent according to the definition
in Annex II to Council Directive 96/53/EC of 25 July 1996 laying
down for certain road vehicles circulating within the Community
the maximum authorised dimensions in national and international
traffic and the maximum authorised weights in international traffic
(OJ L 235, 22.214.171.1246, p. 59). Directive as last amended by Directive
2002/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L
67, 9.3.2002, p. 47). Back