Charging for the use of transport infrastructure has very different traditions in the various modes, reflecting the different nature of their infrastructure (nodal vs. linear), but also different historical traditions of open access, system integration, etc.
Since the early 90's various European Commission initiatives took on this issue, looking mainly at the road sector, where many countries had no (direct) access charges. Heavy goods vehicles were systematically identified as the primary targets for a renewed approach to this problem.
What seemed an easy catch has proved to be much harder, with the various countries adopting almost exclusively national approaches, and the European institutions unable to drive the process.
This book looks at the challenges posed by this objective, recognising that there are multiple objectives for application of road tolls and charges, and discussing the various possible solutions, in the technical, institutional and legal dimensions. The multiplicity of national situations in Europe is put in perspective, the impacts of various charging schemes on regional development and on the environment are estimated, and the recent policy process is analysed, allowing a global view of the remaining difficulties and to make recommendations about the next steps in the process.