Dutch propose nation-wide congestion charging

20-year transport plan includes "flexible" road pricing system, emphasis on cutting CO2, noise

The Dutch government yesterday proposed nation-wide traffic congestion charging as part of a 20-year national transport plan, reviving ambitions first raised in the 1980s.

Under the plan, motorists would pay to use all main roads, with charges varying according by region and vehicles' environmental credentials. Cutting carbon dioxide emissions and noise nuisance are the plan's two other environment related priorities.

A transport ministry spokesperson stressed that the full details of the congestion charges proposal had still to be finalised by the cabinet before parliamentary scrutiny this autumn. After many years of development, the technology to make congestion charging workable was now available, she said.

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