The European Commission (EC) has warned its member states that they will need to do more to ensure that the European Electronic Toll Service (EETS) deployment is on track. A new report published by the EC, concludes that the foreseen target date of October 8, 2012 for heavy duty vehicles will not be met. The EETS system is designed to enable road users to pay tolls throughout the EU using a single subscription contract, service provider and on-board unit (OBU). The aim is to decrease the number of cash transactions at toll stations and the elimination of cumbersome procedures for cross-border users, which will improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and lower the cost of future tolling equipment. The legislation requires member states to open their tolling systems to commercial EETS providers. EETS was due to be accessible for trucks this year and to be available by all vehicle categories in October 2014.
The report that, despite some achievements being made, many problems still remain, such as: insufficient cooperation between the different groups of stakeholders; incomplete national legislative and regulatory frameworks in most countries, where ‘EETS providers’ still cannot register officially or lodge complaints against operators managing the tolled roads; delay in the investments needed to make the existing toll equipment compliant with EU legislation; and the lack of viable arrangements to finance the testing required by toll chargers, which would demonstrate that the EETS providers’ equipment can operate on the tolling infrastructure.
Although a large number of the legislative and technical standards that are essential for EETS deployment, both for microwave- and satellite-based tolling systems, have already been achieved, the EC has warned that it will launch infringement proceedings against member states that fail to meet their obligations to roll out the service. However, the Commission has offered to help speed up the roll-out by giving technical and financial assistance for interoperability projects between member states, under the trans-European transport program. The EC is inviting countries to establish cross-border interoperability of electronic toll systems at a regional level, with the early deployment projects being extended to cover the entire EU at a later stage.
10 September 2012
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