German vignette agreed – D-Day Eurotunnel/MFL

Last updated 20:30 GMT.


Channel delays: 15min delays DFDS Calais-Dover 23:00 due to port movements.

Weather alerts: Amber alerts low temps south west Spain, high winds low temps central Italy, high winds Croatia, snow Serbia and Bulgaria.

Weather: Gales Scandinavia. Rain and showers Mediterranean. Cold central Europe, cold in the south.

See Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.


EUROTUNNEL/MYFERRYLINK. The Competition Appeals Tribunal decision – about whether to uphold the Competition Commission’s ruling that the Eurotunnel backed Dover-Calais ferry operator MyFerryLink is unfair competition to P&O and DFDS – will be published next Wednesday (4 December). The respective operators are keeping their powder dry about what they will do should the decision go against them but, either way, the result is likely to have major implications.



Soon all drivers will have to pay to drive on German roads.

Soon all drivers will pay a toll to drive on German motorways. Charges currently only apply to vehicles over 12t.

The ‘foreign driver’ road tax has been agreed. The two main political parties – CDU/CSU and SDP – concluded negotiations on a new Coalition government early this morning.

On the proviso that ‘no German vehicle owner would be burdened extra’, and that the move does not fall foul of EU anti-discrimination laws, all foreign registered cars (trucks are already subject to an electronic toll system) will pay a fee to drive on the autobahns.

EU Transport commissioner Siim Kallas gave the scheme the provisional go-ahead earlier this month.

The idea is that all drivers will pay the fee but German residents will be rebated through lower vehicle taxes, similar to the ‘HGV road user levy’ to be introduced in the UK next April.

As in neighbouring Austria and Switzerland, it seems that only drivers using the motorways need buy the ‘vignette’. Those using back roads need not pay.

There’s no start date set yet. An annual charge of €80 has been suggested but not confirmed.

The Coalition deal has to be ratified by the 470,000 members of the SDP with the result expected on 14 December.


roundup: SWITZERLAND. Media Markt was stopped from selling cut price vignettes yesterday, not because they were cheap – it was knocking them out at a loss-leading 29.95CHF – but because they were being sold ahead of the official 1 December on-sale date. The Swiss annual vignette is valid from 1 Dec of the preceding year until 31 Jan the following year. LUXEMBOURG. Police are reminding drivers they face a €74 fine for not properly de-icing all windows, clearing snow off vehicles and making sure licence plates are visible. EU. The FIA, ERF, IRU, ACEA, EuroRAP and Euro NCAP join in a combined call on the ‘Commission to improve the state of Europe’s roads. Basically they say unmaintained/improved roads are not just unsafe but also hold back new technologies – lane departure, traffic sign recognition, etc – that would make all road users’ lives better. They have a new report out: ‘Roads that cars can read’. In return, transport commissioner Siim Kallas said – in a speech at an FIA conference today – the industry should think up its best ideas for connected cars and roads ahead of an ‘informal’ EU28 Transport Council meeting next May.


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