Regional authorities in Germany could be successful in their battle to restrict the upcoming ‘foreigner toll’ to national roads and motorways. Meanwhile, the threat from an unfriendly new Transport Commissioner looks to be negated, for now.
Also, there is now a clear, wide motorway between Berlin and Munich. Mercedes’ smart new Marco Polo motor home will be available in RHD. Looking ahead to next year’s Mille Miglia with a look back at this year’s. New DFDS freight sailings. New rules for carrying kids in Romania, and it’s been a bumper summer for many cross-Channel operators.
POTENTIAL COMPROMISE ON GERMAN ‘FOREIGNER TOLL’
Regional leaders press concerns over cross-border trade. New Transport Commissioner from friendly Czech Republic.
The foreigner toll might not apply to all roads in Germany as originally planned.
The Ausburger Allgemeine reported on Wednesday (via thelocal.de) that continuing objections to the toll plan – from border regions especially, fearing a drop off in cross-border business – might see the charge apply just to national roads and motorways.
When challenged, transport minister Alexander Dobrindt merely said the government would seek to implement its original proposal.
However, comments yesterday, from Dobrindt’s boss, Bavarian CSU party leader Horst Seehofer, suggest there might be a compromise after all.
Meanwhile, the composition of the upcoming European Commission has been leaked to Euractiv.
It comes with a health warning – previous leaks have proved wildly inaccurate – but Věra Jourová from the Czech Republic is apparently earmarked as the new Transport Commissioner, despite having no previous experience in the field.
Czech newspaper columnist Martin Zverina writes today, ‘One can see how easily and swiftly candidates for posts in the European Commission can become experts… Jourova was about to be in charge of the European funds, but she was reportedly pushed aside by the Croatian candidate who was the commissioner for consumer policy… In a few days’ time, Jourova is to become an expert in transport.’
Jourova is however currently a Regional Development minister and there is certainly work to do developing the regional transport infrastructure in Eastern Europe. Currently there is no immediate prospect of a direct east-west link, for instance.
Her appointment could be a pointer to the new Commission’s transport priorities, especially following last week’s West Balkans Summit in Berlin at which the Ionian-Adriatic motorway loomed large on the agenda.
At the same time, a Czech transport commissioner might not represent such a threat to the German ‘auslander maut’ as one from Poland, Austria, Denmark or the Netherlands.
The Czech Republic borders Germany to the east but has so far not figured among those countries vociferously complaining about the toll which they consider to be discriminatory.
roundup: FREIGHT FERRY. DFDS Seaways will increase freight capacity between Rotterdam and Immingham with two extra departures a week (to six in total) using Anglia Seaways reports @FerrymanThe. ROMANIA. Drivers failing to secure children with a seatbelt or child seat risk a fine of up to €110 from the end of the month. GERMANY. Today’s opening of the stretch between Triptis and Schleiz (south of the A4 near Gera) means the A9 between Berlin and Munich is now six lanes all the way. CROSSING THE CHANNEL. A number of operators are reporting record passenger numbers this summer. Eurotunnel broke its one-day record three times in August peaking at 16,416 vehicles. The 85,400 vehicles it carried 11-17 August was also its best ever weekly figure. They also broke through the 1,000-cats-a-month barrier. Numbers overall were up 4%. A few miles down the road in Dover, 2.3 million passengers passed through the port, up 2.5% on the same time last year. Meanwhile, Brittany Ferries also carried a record number of passengers, almost three quarters of a million between Portsmouth and France and Spain between June to August. Finally, extra sailings between Helsinki and Tallinn in the east Baltic helped Viking Lines register a 9% overall rise in passenger numbers compared to the same period in 2013, nearly 30% up on that one route. Read here about our trip on this ferry in May.
The official video of this year’s Brescia-Rome-Brescia Mille Miglia is published as it is announced that next year’s event will be held 14-17 May 2015:
GIBRALTAR FRONTIER WATCH: max 45min delay all day then queues built from 20:00, to 2h30 at 21:00.