Traffic information service VID said on Tuesday that Dutch trucking companies are taking longer routes through the Netherlands to Belgium since the introduction of tolls on Belgian roads.
The VID analysed traffic on four routes to and from the port of Antwerp and found increases in traffic at some border crossings, while others had gone down.
For example, the number of lorries crossing into Belgium via the A4 at Ossendrecht has risen almost 10% since tolls were introduced, while on the A16, which involves a longer trip through Belgium, freight traffic has gone down 7%.
In addition, more lorries from Germany’s Ruhr industrial region are driving via the Netherlands,rather than taking the shortest route through Belgium, the VID said.
Dutch transport lobby group TLN said the findings are ‘unsurprising’. Trucking companies always look for the cheapest as well as the shortest route, a spokesman told news agency ANP.
Lorries weighing more than 3.5 tonnes have had to pay a new tax for the kilometres they drive over Belgian roads from April 1. TLN said when the charge was introduced it would cost Dutch transport firms €60m a year.
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