June 7, 2011 9:30 AM, EDT

EU to Hit Truckers with Pollution, Noise Surcharges

Citing a need to reduce emissions and delays on its highways, the European Union will let member nations charge trucks for air pollution and noise, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

The European Parliament approved a law allowing environmental costs to be included in truck tolls, which may rise by 12% to 27%, Bloomberg said.

Current EU rules prohibit environmental surcharges on trucking fleets, except in mountainous regions such as the Alps, to avoid fragmenting the European market.

Road transport is responsible for 75% of nitrous-oxide discharges from transport and the cost of traffic jams amounts to about 1.1% of the EU economy, the EC said, adding that trucks make up about a quarter of those effects.

The agreement scales back the initial demands of the EC and Parliament, which had wanted to allow the environmental surcharges to cover congestion as well as noise and pollution, by allowing nations to vary tolls according to traffic flows, Bloomberg reported.