Declaration on congestion charging and environmental traffic restrictions
Publication date: 09 June 2008
The European motoring clubs, members of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), together comprising the Eurocouncil of the FIA, representing within Europe 34 million motorists, issued the following declaration at its annual meeting on 23 April 2008 in Antwerp, Belgium:
We believe that mobility is a prerequisite for the well-being and economic prosperity of all citizens in Europe and therefore should remain accessible and affordable to all citizens on an equal footing;
We believe that if road charging is being considered, it must not come as and additional burden, but it should be compensated by reduction of taxes or levies on other aspects of mobility. Motorists cover already much more than the costs they impose on society.
We believe that income of authorities on the basis of charging or levying mobile citizens should be spent on infrastructure and services to mobile citizens;
We acknowledge that negative effects of mobility on other mobile citizens, on inhabitants from cities and on the environment should be avoided as much as possible or, if unavoidable, should be distributed across citizens on an equal basis, avoiding unequal damage to the well-being or the economic prosperity. Cutting car usage should not be the primary purpose of road charging or traffic restrictions. Environmental measures which do not hamper mobility should be preferred.
Therefore, the European motoring clubs demand that :
- Authorities should alleviate the burden put on cities by mobility of goods and people, by infrastructural measures as a first option;
- Traffic restrictions should be tested for their effectiveness, not only before their implementation but also after implementation;
- Information about traffic restrictions should be made available to all citizens and travellers, also from other countries, in an easily accessible way;
- Information about charges and traffic restrictions should be logical, simple and clearly understandable for all;
- Traffic restrictions should not infringe the European freedom to mobility of persons;
- Procedural steps should be transparent and clear to all European citizens, fulfilling the obligation of informing citizens about their rights in their own language and allowing fast and affordable access to the correct jurisdiction;
- European and national privacy regulations should be respected and enforced by Member States in the deployment of any ITS used for road charging purposes.
The FIA European clubs hereby call upon the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council to ensure that mobility remains accessible and affordable for all citizens in Europe.
Chairman, FIA Eurocouncil