Belgium raises road toll rates despite protests from carriers. Rises and the pandemic is a deadly cocktail for the industry
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The Belgian government, despite appeals from the local carriers, will not give up the toll increase planned for July of this year in Flanders. According to the transport organisation Febetra, an increase during the coronavirus pandemic will have devastating effects on the industry.
Despite criticism from the Belgian transport association Febetra, the government has already approved the increase planned for July 1st this year. The decision has already been published in the Belgian Official Journal. This happened, although the organisation, in an appeal to the government, pointed to the difficult situation of the industry due to the coronavirus.
If the Flemish government wants to prevent the real mass extinction of transport companies, it has to respond to our request,” Febetra warned.
Toll rates for heavy goods vehicles over 32 tonnes will increase by two cents per kilometre.
Raising toll rates on July 1st by 16% for >32 t category is a slap in the face for the transport sector from the government. The madness of brazen increase of rates + coronavirus = deadly cocktail,” wrote Philippe Degraef, Febetra’s head on Twitter.
Forste stijging (+16%) voor milieuvriendelijkste vrachtwagens. Lichtste stijging (+11%) voor oudste en minst propere vrachtwagens. Dat is wel een heel merkwaardige logica. https://t.co/9iZbRxCbp1
— Philippe Degraef (@PhilippeDegraef) April 16, 2020
Sharpest rise (+16%) for the most environmentally friendly trucks. Smallest rise (+11%) for the oldest and least clean trucks. This is a very strange logic,” Degraef added.
The government’s decision has also met with criticism outside the transport industry.
During the coronavirus pandemic, this decision of the Belgian government cannot be justified. Introducing increases for an important sector that is already in trouble. Will the next step be a tax on protective clothing in hospitals?” comments Philippe Van Dooren, editor of the Belgian news portal flows.be.
In deze coronatijden valt deze beslissing van de Vlaamse regering niet te verklaren. Een essentiële sector die het al moeilijk heeft, nog meer belasten. Volgende stap: een taks op de beschermkledij in de ziekenhuizen? https://t.co/AEdCPdLuT4 @FEBETRA
— Philippe Van Dooren (@phvandooren) April 16, 2020