The German government has said it's been able to collect a higher-than-expected sum from its recently extended road toll system for heavy goods vehicles. The extra resources will go towards road maintenance.
A recent extension of a national toll system for levying payments for the use of heavy goods vehicles on selected roads had already paid off financially, the German Transport Ministry reported on Thursday.
It said 14.1 million euros ($18.17 million) had been collected since the system was extended on August 1 to not only include freeways (the German autobahn system), but also selected four-lane overland highways. The ministry stated it had reckoned with only 8.0 million euros in road toll revenues in the first six weeks after the extension.
"It's early days to say exactly what this could mean in terms of extra revenues for the whole of 2012," the ministry commented. "But the current trend finds us in a very optimistic mood."
The German Transport Ministry had originally penciled in an additional 40 million euros from the extended toll system for he current year and 100 million euros for 2013. But it's likely to revise the figures upwards after the good start.
Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer said the extra income from the state-of-the-art satellite-based toll system would exclusively go towards road maintenance across the country.
The system's extension in August to cover many big overland roads was deemed necessary, as an increasing amount of heavy trucks had started dodging the autobahns, thus completely clogging many ordinary roads.
hg/mz (AFP, dapd, dpa)