Commission preparing ecopoints back-up plan

Transport directorate in discussions with Austria on rules for possible extension

Discussions are taking place between the European Commission and Austria about how to extend, if necessary, the lifespan of the controversial ecopoints lorry traffic management system, ENDS Europe DAILY has learned. The Commission hopes that EU rules on road charging will be swiftly adopted making an extension unnecessary. However, this is far from guaranteed.

The ecopoints system was agreed as part of Austria's 1995 accession to the EU and is due to expire at the end of 2003. It is designed to limit air pollution from lorry traffic passing through Austria by imposing a cap on the number of journeys allowed. If this is exceeded a compulsory cut in future journeys is required.

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